Supporting what will be the largest LNG carrier newbuild programme in history valued in excess of US$19Bn, Qatar Petroleum (QP) has issued an invitation to tender to charter LNG carriers for its future LNG shipping requirements
The chartered LNG carriers will support Qatar’s ongoing expansion projects in the North Field that will raise its production capacity by over 40%. Qatar plans to raise its LNG production capacity from 77M tonnes per annum to 126M tonnes per annum by 2027.
The tender package, which was issued to a large group of LNG shipowners, aims at selecting world-class shipowners for the long-term time charter of LNG carriers to satisfy the future requirements of Qatar Petroleum and its subsidiaries.
In addition to the North Field Expansion Project, the tender package covers the requirements for the LNG volumes that will be produced from the US$10Bn Golden Pass LNG export project at Sabine Pass, Texas in the US. Affiliates of QP and ExxonMobil own Golden Pass LNG, which will begin exporting LNG in 2024. QP has a 70% interest and ExxonMobil the remaining 30% stake in the 16-mta project.
Furthermore, the tender includes options to replace time charters for a number of Qatar’s LNG carriers that will expire in the next few years.
Qatari Minister of State for Energy Affairs and QP president and chief executive Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi said the tender “reflects the steadfast progress Qatar Petroleum is making on the expansion of our LNG production capacity both in Qatar and abroad.”
Upon receiving the responses to the tender, Qatar Petroleum will review bidders’ technical and commercial capabilities with the objective of assigning selected shipowners to the shipyards’ construction slots, which were previously reserved at Chinese and South Korean shipyards.
Minister Al-Kaabi said, “As we have previously announced, Qatar Petroleum entered into agreements with major South Korean and Chinese shipyards to reserve LNG ship construction capacity for building as many as 100 new LNG carriers to cater for the needs of North Field Expansion Project as well as for Qatar Petroleum’s future LNG carrier fleet requirements, in what will be the largest LNG shipbuilding programme in history.” He called the release of the tender “a major milestone in our efforts towards securing the most qualified shipowners and operators for our future LNG carrier fleet.”
Qatargas will manage the shipowner selection programme on behalf of QP.
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