Last year, China’s LNG imports from Qatar spiked by 75% from 2021, amounting to 15.7 million tonnes of gas.
QatarEnergy has named China’s Sinopec as its partner for the mega North Field East (NFE) liquified natural gas (LNG) expansion project on Wednesday.
The Qatari energy company made the announcement in a signing ceremony that took place in Doha with the attendance of its Minister of State for Energy Affairs and QatarEnergy CEO Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi.
Sinopec’s chairman MA Yong-sheng was also in attendance.
“Today’s [Wednesday’s] event underscores QatarEnergy’s commitment to deepening its relationships with key LNG consumers, while prioritising long-term strategic partnerships and alignment with world class partners from China, represented by Sinopec here today,” Al-Kaabi said.
According to QatarEnergy, the Chinese company would become a shareholder in one of the NFE joint venture companies in the project. Sinopec would be granted a 5% stake in one NFE train that holds a capacity of 8 million tonnes per annum of LNG.
The multi-billion North Field expansion project is the largest of its kind and is leading Qatar’s drive to dominate LNG supplies.
The $28.75 billion project is broken into two parts, the NFE and the North Field South (NFS).
The first is set to ramp up Qatar’s production from 77 to 110 million tonnes per annum as the NFS will increase the production capacity from 110 to 126 million tonnes per annum.
QatarEnergy announced eight international partnership agreements last year for both phases of the projects, set to kick start in 2026 and 2027.
China stands as the world’s top LNG buyer as Qatar is among the biggest exporters of gas.
Last year, QatarEnergy agreed to provide China with an annual amount of four million tonnes of LNG over the span of 27 years.
This also represented the longest deal ever signed by QatarEnergy and in the industry’s history.
It also follows an earlier deal between QatarEnergy and Sinopec following a previous 10-year SPA signed in 2021 over the supply of two million tonnes per annum of LNG.
“The cooperation with QatarEnergy will help Sinopec further optimise China’s energy consumption structure and enhance the security, stability, and reliability of clean energy supply,” Sinopec’s chairman said during the latest signing.
Last year, China’s LNG imports from Qatar spiked by 75% from 2021, amounting to 15.7 million tonnes of gas. The figure, shared by Chinese customs, amounts to a quarter of China’s total imports.
“The People’s Republic of China is a major driver of the global energy markets as well as being one of the most important gas markets in the world and is a key market for Qatari energy products,” Al-Kaabi noted.