The order is the first batch under a 2020 agreement as Qatar carries out its North Field expansion plans.
QatarEnergy (QE), formerly Qatar Petroleum, has ordered six liquified natural gas (LNG) ships from two South Korean shipyards, the first such move under a 2020 agreement with the Asian state.
Four LNG vessels have been purchased from the Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering shipyard, and two others from Samsung Heavy Industries as part of deals that Qatar penned in May last year.
The ships are the latest of several planned batches in QE’s shipbuilding programme that aims to grow the company’s fleet to sustain its North Field expansion project.
“These orders, and those that will follow in the near future, constitute a significant part of our program to expand Qatar’s LNG fleet to meet the requirements of our LNG expansion projects, our existing fleet replacement, as well as our LNG trading arm,” said Qatar’s minister of state for energy affairs and CEO of QE Saad al-Kaabi.
In October, QatarEnergy announced it had ordered four LNG tankers from Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding Group Co. Ltd. (Hudong), a subsidiary of China State Shipbuilding Corporation Limited (CSSC).
The carriers were the first batch of orders in QE’s LNG shipbuilding programme, which will meet the needs of future LNG tanker requirements for QE’s North Field expansion project, the world’s largest natural gas project.
QE has ramped up efforts to solidify its position as a leading LNG supplier as the Gulf state gears up to return as the largest LNG producer by 2030.
The project is set to raise Qatar’s LNG production capacity from 77 million metric tons per year to 110 million metric tons per year by 2025.