QatarEnergy appoints Nakilat as the full owner and operator of 25 LNG carriers, marking a significant milestone in its fleet expansion project aimed at meeting future LNG production demands.
QatarEnergy awarded Qatar’s Gas Transport Company Limited, Nakilat, with the full ownership and operation of 25 conventional-size liquified natural gas carriers under a Time Charter Parties (TCP) agreement, the Qatari gas giant announced on Saturday.
“QatarEnergy is moving firmly in building its future LNG fleet, expected to be in excess of one hundred vessels. We look forward to announcing the names of additional successful bidders in the near future,” QatarEnergy President and CEO Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi said in a statement.
A TCP stipulates that a shipowner leases a fully equipped and manned vessel for a fixed period to a charterer. The latest deal marked the first of the second batch of QatarEnergy’s long-term TCPs under its LNG Fleet Expansion Project.
The 25 vessels are “scheduled for construction at South Korean shipyards,” QatarEnergy noted.
In 2022, the Qatari company concluded the first phase of its fleet expansion project by signing long-term TCPs for the charter and operation of 60 LNG ships.
The project aims to meet Qatar’s future requirements under its North Field Expansion Project, the largest of its kind in the industry.
The multibillion project comes under Qatar’s LNG endeavours and is split into two parts; the North Field East (NFE) and the North Field South (NFS).
NFE is set to ramp up Qatar’s LNG production from 77 to 110 mtpa (million tonnes per annum) by 2025, as the NFS will increase the production capacity from 110 to 126 mtpa by 2026.
Overall, the project is set to boost Qatar’s LNG production by more than 63 percent while adding 48 mtpa to global production.
QatarEnergy inked eight partnership deals with key energy giants globally throughout 2022-2023 for the project, namely TotalEnergies, Eni, ConocoPhillips, Shell, and ExxonMobil.
The fleet expansion programme also aims to support the shipment of gas produced from the Golden Pass LNG Export Project in Texas, a joint venture between QatarEnergy and Exxon Mobil Corp.
Golden Pass LNG has a production capacity of at least 18 million tonnes per annum and is set to begin its first production by the end of 2024.
In October 2022, QatarEnergy Trading and ExxonMobil signed an agreement stipulating the former would “independently offtake and market their respective proportionate equity shares” of LNG in the U.S. project.
In 2016, affiliates of QatarEnergy and ExxonMobil established a joint venture Ocean LNG Limited to offtake and market the production at the Texas gas entity.