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Qatar to start construction program for 100-plus LNG ships for 2024 output target

Dubai — Qatar Petroleum said Monday it has issued an invitation to tender for the construction of more than 100 LNG vessels to help meet its expected output increase to 110 million mt a year by 2024 from 77 million mt/year now.

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The tender also includes shipping requirements for the offtake agreement of Ocean LNG, the Qatar Petroleum joint venture with ExxonMobil, from the Golden Pass terminal in the US, which is under construction and will be completed by 2024.

The shipping tender also includes options for replacing Qatar Petroleum's existing LNG fleet, which include 45 Q-flex and Q-Max ships.

"With this significant step, Qatar Petroleum is embarking on another major LNG ship-building campaign expected to initially deliver 60 LNG carriers in support of the planned production expansion, with a potential to exceed 100 new LNG carriers over the next decade," Minister of State for Energy Affairs and Qatar Petroleum CEO Saad a-Kaabi said in a statement. "This important initiative reinforces Qatar Petroleum's commitment to its global reputation as a safe and reliable LNG producer at all times and under all circumstances."

Top 10 LNG exporters and market share by country

Qatar plans to tap its offshore North Field, the world's largest gas field which it shares with Iran, to boost its LNG exports after lifting a 12-year moratorium on the development of the field in 2017.

Earlier this month, Qatar Petroleum invited bids for an engineering, procurement and construction contract for the North Field Expansion project.

The tender package was issued to three EPC consortiums: one comprising Japan's Chiyoda Corporation and France's Technip, another comprising Japan's JGC Corporation and South Korea's Hyundai Engineering & Construction, and a third comprising Italy's Saipem, McDermott Middle East and Taiwan's CTCI Corporation.

The EPC contract includes building four new LNG mega-trains, which can also produce LPG, a helium plant and supporting infrastructure. The contract is scheduled to be awarded in January 2020.

Qatar Petroleum agreed in February to build the Golden Pass LNG export terminal in Texas with a capacity to produce up to 16 million mt/year at a cost of over $10 billion.

Forecast LNG carrier deliveries

-- Dania Saadi,

-- Edited by Jonathan Dart,