Qatar's state-owned Qatar Petroleum (QP) has issued a tender for the chartering of LNG carriers to handle its future shipping requirements from expansion projects in Qatar and the US.
[Published date: 22 March 2021]
The tender was issued to a "large group of LNG ship owners" and aims to select "world-class ship owners for the long-term time charter of LNG carriers to satisfy the future requirements of Qatar Petroleum and its subsidiaries", the company said in a statement. The tender includes options to replace time charters for a number of Qatar's LNG carriers that will expire in the next few years, it said.
QP began its long-heralded LNG capacity expansion on 9 February, sanctioning the first $28.75bn phase of investment in new production trains to boost capacity to 110mn t/yr before the end of 2025. A second phase of expansion will take Qatar's capacity to 126mn t/yr by the end of 2027.
Along with the additional gas from the North Field expansion, the tender will also cover new LNG volumes from the Golden Pass LNG project in the US, in which QP holds a 70pc stake. Capacity at the export facility in Texas is set to increase by 2.5mn t/yr to 18.1mn t/yr in 2026.
Last year, QP reserved LNG carrier construction capacity at three South Korean shipyards and China's Hudong Zhonghua shipyard through to the end of 2027, to help meet its LNG vessel requirements for the expansion projects.
"QP entered into agreements with major Korean and Chinese shipyards to reserve LNG ship construction capacity for building as many as 100 new LNG carriers to cater for the needs of North Field expansion project as well as for QP's future LNG carrier fleet requirements, in what will be the largest LNG shipbuilding programme in history," minister of state for energy affairs Saad al-Kaabi said.
The selection of the shipowner programme has been left to QP's subsidiary Qatargas, which operates a fleet of 45 Q-Flex and Q-Max LNG carriers.