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Qatar Petroleum tenders to ship owners for charter of LNG carriers


Qatar Petroleum expanding LNG capacity by 64%

QP has booked LNG ship construction capacity in China, South Korea

International partners for North Field expansion to be revealed in 6 months

  • Author
  • Katie McQue
  • Editor
  • Claudia Carpenter
  • Commodity
  • Natural Gas Shipping

New York — Qatar Petroleum issued an invitation to tender to ship owners for the chartering of LNG carriers for its future LNG shipping requirements at its offshore North Field expansion and the Golden Pass LNG export project in the US.

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The invite to "a large group of LNG ship owners" also includes options to replace time charters for a number of Qatar's LNG carriers that will expire in the next few years, the company said in a March 20 statement. Upon receiving the responses to the tender invite, QP said it intends to assign selected ship owners to the shipyards' construction slots which were previously reserved in China and South Korea.

QP in April 2020 announced a $3 billion agreement to reserve LNG ship construction capacity in China and in June said it signed three agreements with South Korean shipbuilding yards to reserve newbuild slots for over 100 LNG tankers at a combined cost of almost $19 billion, both to support its North Field gas expansion projects and for QP's future LNG carrier fleet requirements.

"The release of this invitation to tender package is a major milestone in our efforts towards securing the most qualified ship owners and operators for our future LNG carrier fleet," Saad al-Kaabi, QP's CEO and president who is also Qatar's energy minister, said in the statement.

QP is planning to increase its LNG production by 64% via the two-phase North Field expansion project. The Gulf state's LNG production capacity is being expanded to 126 million mt/year in two phases through 2027, from 77 million mt/year. Qatar was the world's largest LNG exporter last year, according to S&P Global Platts Analytics.

The first phase of the expansion will cost $28.75 billion, making it one of the largest energy projects anywhere, and boost Qatar's LNG production to 110 mt/year by Q4 2025, the company said in February. The field, which Qatar shares with Iran, is the world's largest offshore gas field. The international companies selected to be partners on the project will be announced within the next six months, Kaabi said earlier this month.

QP and ExxonMobil's 18 million mt/year Golden Pass export terminal is under construction in Texas, and is expected to be operational by the middle of this decade.