According to December reports, China became the world’s largest LNG importer during the first 10 months of 2021.
China’s Qingdao terminal received its first shipment of liquified natural gas (LNG) from Qatar on Sunday, Shanghai Petroleum and Natural Gas Exchange said on Tuesday, as cited by Reuters.
The shipment is part of a 10-year agreement signed between what was formerly known as Qatar Petroleum, currently QatarEnergy, and Chinese state oil and gas company Sinopec Corp in 2021.
Under the agreement, Qatar will be providing Sinopec with an annual supply of two million tonnes, around 2.8 billion cubic metres, of LNG starting from this year.
Qatar had sent out its first cargo of LNG to China in January this year. The shipment carried 94,000 tonnes of Qatari gas and was discharged into Sinopec’s Tianjin terminal.
The latest shipment, carrying a volume of 205,000 cubic meters, was the first to be offloaded at the Qingdao terminal in the Shandong province.
The Gulf state holds major long-term LNG deals with a number of Asian countries, dominating most of its exports.
In January, Qatar’s exports to China amounted to at least 1 million tonnes, coming second place after India, which received more than 1.2 million tonnes.
Qatar and China’s LNG ties date back to 2009, when the Asian country received its first shipment of Qatari gas. The Gulf state has since provided China with more than 62 million tonnes of LNG.
Last year, QatarEnergy signed a separate 15-year LNG deal with China’s National Offshore Oil Corporation’s (CNNOC) subsidiary, the Gas and Power Trading & Marketing Limited.
Under the agreement, Qatar will deliver 3.5 million tonnes of LNG per annum starting from January 2022.
Qatar has been signing more major agreements with key countries as it moves towards dominating global LNG production through the North Field Expansion project. The multi-billon project is the biggest of its kind, aiming to increase Qatar’s annual LNG production capacity from 77 million metric tonnes to 126 million tonnes by 2027.
One agreement between Qatar and China in a bid to ramp up the Gulf state’s production was signed last October.
QatarEnergy ordered four new LNG tankers from China’s Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding Group Co. Ltd. (Hudong), a subsidiary of China State Shipbuilding Corporation Limited (CSSC).
The deal, the first with Hudong, seeks to meet the needs of future LNG tanker requirements for the North Field expansion project.
According to December reports, China became the world’s largest LNG importer during the first 10 months of 2021, with imports averaging at 10.3 bcf/d (billion cubic feet per day).
The recorded imports marked a 24% increase during the same period in 2020, outranking Japan. Qatar, the US and Malaysia covered 11% of China’s total LNG imports during the same period.
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