Qatar and Bangladesh already share a 15-year LNG agreement which was signed between RasGas and Petrobanglain 2017.
Bangladesh is seeking to increase its imports of liquified natural gas (LNG) from Qatar by extending existing long-term agreements, Dhaka’s news agency (BSS) reported on Monday.
The matter was discussed in a meeting between Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wazed and Qatar’s newly-appointed Ambassador to Bangladesh Saree bin Ali Al Qahtani in Dhaka.
“Bangladesh is currently purchasing LNG from Qatar and the government wants to continue it for a long term period,” said Wazed.
Qatar and Bangladesh already share a 15-year LNG agreement that was signed between RasGas and Petrobanglain 2017.
The deal stipulated that the Gulf state annually supplies Dhaka with 2.5 million tonnes of LNG starting from 2018 throughout the duration of the agreement. It was also Bangladesh’s first LNG import deal.
Petrobangla has purchased 8.424 million metric tonnes of LNG as of January this year, as reports stated.
Speaking to the media, the Prime Minister’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim said that Al Qahtani hinted that the long-term agreement could be extended for a longer period.
Reports from last month stated that Bangladesh is eyeing an additional one million metric tonnes per annum of Qatari gas.
According to The Business Standard, Bangladesh’s State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid made the request in a proposal that was submitted to Qatar’s Minister of State for Energy Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi.
Al-Kaabi then discussed the potential increase with the Bangladeshi energy officials.
In February last year, a separate agreement was signed between what was then-known as Qatar Petroleum with Dutch energy giant Vitol to provide its customers in Bangladesh with 1.25 million tonnes per annum of LNG.
Qatar Petroleum had changed its name to QatarEnergy by October of the same year.
Dhaka is on its way to become a top LNG importer in Asia, joining India and Pakistan. In 2019 alone Bangladesh imported 3.89 million tonnes of LNG in 2019 under separate long-term contracts with Qatargas and Oman Trading International.
Asia has been Qatar’s highest market in the energy sector.
India was the top destination for Qatari LNG shipments in January after it received more than 1.2 million tonnes. It was followed by China at around 1 million tonnes, South Korea with roughly 661,000 tonnes, and Pakistan with 504,000 tonnes.
According to data from S&P Global Platts Analytics, Qatar was the world’s biggest LNG exporter last year, with gas supplies reaching 110.2 bcm (billion cubic metres).
The demand for Qatari gas has also been on the rise since the beginning of the year as tensions between Russia and Ukraine increased. There were concerns over Europe’s gas supply, given that it received 40% of its gas supply from Moscow.
Almost a third of the shipments had to pass through Ukraine.
Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine on 24 February, the Gulf state was approached by Austria, Italy, Germany, the UK, and France in an effort to reduce their reliance on Russian gas.
Qatar is aiming to increase its annual LNG production capacity from 77 million metric tonnes to 126 million tonnes by 2027 through the North Field expansion project. The $30 billion project is the biggest of its kind in the world.
Bloomberg reported last week that QatarEnergy is assessing whether to further expand the project to meet growing demands. No statement has been made by Qatar on the matter yet.