Qatar signs world’s ‘longest’ gas supply deal with China

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QatarEnergy CEO and Qatar’s Minister of Energy Saad al Kaabi attends a signing ceremony with Sinopec, in Doha, Qatar, November 21, 2022. Reuters

QatarEnergy announced a 27-year natural gas supply deal with China Monday, calling it the “longest” ever seen as it strengthened ties with Asia while Europe scrambles for alternative sources.

The state energy company will send four million tonnes of liquefied natural gas annually from its new North Field East project to China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation (Sinopec), it said.

The deal “marks the longest gas supply agreement in the history of the LNG industry”, said Saad Sherida al-Kaabi, Qatar’s energy minister and QatarEnergy’s chief executive.

Asian countries led by China, Japan and South Korea are the main market for Qatar’s gas, which is increasingly being sought by European countries since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Negotiations with European countries have struggled as Germany and others baulked at signing the type of long-term deals made with Asian nations.

North Field is at the centre of Qatar’s expansion of its liquefied natural gas production by more than 60 per cent to 126 million tonnes a year by 2027.

China is the first country to seal a deal for North Field East.

The Chinese company’s chairman revealed it had also requested a full share of the North Field South project that is dominated by Western energy giants.

The accord would “further solidify the excellent bilateral relations between the People’s Republic of China and the State of Qatar and help meet China’s growing energy needs”, Kaabi said.

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