On June 20, Qatar went on to secure a large gas supply deal, a second one with a state-controlled company from China, and that too in less than a year’s time, thereby putting Asia well ahead when it comes to securing gas supplies from the massive production expansion project at Doha.
It is well to be noted that China National Petroleum Corporation- CNPC and QatarEnergy, went ahead and inked a 27-year agreement in which China will go on to purchase 4 million metric tonnes of LNG every year from Qatar.
Apparently, CNPC will also get an equity stake when it comes to the eastern expansion of the North Field LNG project in Qatar, said Saad al-Kaabi, who is the chief of QatarEnergy.
The stake is equivalent to 5% of an LNG train that happens to have a capacity of 8 million metric tonnes every year. Kaabi said that these two agreements are going to further enhance robust relations with one of the most prominent gas markets in the world and also a major market when it comes to Qatari energy products.
It is well to be noted that in another identical deal, QatarEnergy went on to seal a 27-year supply agreement with Sinopec of China last year in November for 4 million metric tonnes every year. The Chinese gas giant, which happens to be state-owned, has also taken an equity stake equal to 5% of one LNG train with a capacity of 8 million metric tonnes per year.
Notably, Asia, due to an appetite for long-term sales as well as purchase agreements, has gone past Europe when it comes to locking in supply from the two-phase expansion plan from Qatar, which will in turn raise its capacity of liquefaction to 126 metric tonnes every year by 2027 from the current 77 million.
Significantly, the June 20th deal is going to be QatarEnergy’s third deal in order to supply LNG due to the expansion to an Asian buyer.
It is well worth noting that other Asian buyers are also in talks when it comes to equity stakes within the expansion, remarked Kaabi.
Qatar happens to be the world’s top LNG exporter, and interestingly, the LNG competition has indeed ramped up ever since the war began in Ukraine, with Europe especially needing significant amounts of it to aid in replacing the Russian pipeline gas, which apparently makes up around 40% of the continent’s imports.
It was earlier reported that CNPC was almost there in finalising the deal so as to purchase LNG from QatarEnergy for 30 years from the expansion project in the North Field. QatarEnergy had previously gone on record to state that it could very well give up to 5% stakes in the gas trains that were connected to its North Field expansion to what Kaabi had defined as value-added partners.
In April this year, Sinopec apparently became the first Asian energy company to go on to become a value-added partner in the project. QatarEnergy has also stamped equity partnerships on the project with international oil companies but has remarked that it plans to hold a 75% stake in the North Field expansion, which will go on to cost almost $30 billion and will include the construction of facilities concerning liquefaction exports.
It is well to be noted that as Beijing’s ties with Australia and the US, which happen to be Qatar’s biggest export rivals of LNG, get strained, Chinese state energy firms are increasingly labelling Qatar as a safer target as far as resource investment is concerned.
The Qatar Investment Authority, which happens to be the nation’s $445 billion sovereign wealth fund, will go on to manage most of the revenues coming from the North Field expansion, as per Kaabi.