Japanese trading giant is exploring investment options to secure LNG supply, following the impact of the Ukraine war on energy stability.
Japanese trading house Mitsui & Co is contemplating an investment in Qatar’s North Field LNG expansion project, according to a company spokesperson.
“We have always said that we would consider investing in any quality LNG projects, and the North Field is one of the projects,” the spokesperson commented, without further expanding, according to Reuters.
This development comes as Japan actively seeks to diversify its energy sources and secure long-term contracts for LNG in the wake of an energy crisis triggered by the war in Ukraine.
Earlier this month, Nikkei business daily reported that Mitsui might be part of a Japanese consortium interested in the North Field, with JERA—a major power generator and Japan’s largest LNG purchaser—also potentially participating.
A JERA spokesperson confirmed that the firm is engaged in various discussions with Qatar, which is a significant supplier of LNG to Japan.
“JERA is in talks with various suppliers, including Qatar,” said the spokesperson, although further details were not disclosed.
Japan led the world in LNG imports in 2022 and largely depends on the Middle East for its fossil fuel needs. During a visit to Qatar in July, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida vowed to bolster energy and economic ties with the gas-rich nation.
QatarEnergy anticipates finalising supply contracts for nearly all new volumes from the North Field expansion by next year.
Meanwhile, JERA’s trading unit recently inked a LNG agreement with Abu Dhabi’s ADNOC Gas, estimated to be worth between $500 and $700 million.