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Report: Aramco shipping unit wants to charter 12 LNG tankers

Saudi Arabian Oil Co. shipping unit Bahri, or The National Shipping Co. of Saudi Arabia, issued an expression of interest to charter up to 12 liquefied natural gas tankers starting in 2025, Reuters reported, citing industry sources.

However, expressions of interest are initial inquiries that may or may not turn into full-fledged orders, according to the report.

Sources told Reuters that the move is likely part of the oil giant's expansion into LNG trading as it increases gas production and considers expanding its LNG investments.

The company, also known as Aramco, plans to become a major gas player and is developing its own gas resources, Reuters reported.

Bahri has six business units dealing in oil, chemicals, logistics, dry bulk, ship management and data, according to the report. It also owns 90 vessels, including 43 very large crude carriers and 36 chemical/product tankers.

In November, Aramco was reportedly building an LNG terminal in Bangladesh as demand in the country is expected to surge. The company is also expected to supply LNG to Bangladesh.

In May, Aramco subsidiary Aramco Services Company Inc. entered into a nonbinding agreement with Sempra Energy unit Sempra LNG LLC, which includes the negotiation and finalization of an LNG supply deal of 5 million tonnes per annum from the Port Arthur LNG terminal in Texas.