According to December reports, China has become the world’s largest LNG importer in the first 10 months of 2021.
China’s Qingdao terminal received its first shipment of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Qatar on Sunday, Shanghai Petroleum and Natural Gas Exchange said on Tuesday, quoted by Reuters.
The shipment is part of a 10-year deal signed between what was once known as Qatar Petroleum, now QatarEnergy, and Chinese state oil and gas company Sinopec Corp in 2021.
Under the agreement, Qatar will provide Sinopec with an annual supply of two million tonnes, or about 2.8 billion cubic meters, of LNG starting this year.
Qatar sends its first LNG shipment to China
Qatar sent its first LNG shipment to China in January this year. The cargo carried 94,000 tonnes of Qatari gas and was unloaded at Sinopec’s Tianjin terminal.
The latest cargo, carrying a volume of 205,000 cubic meters, was the first to be unloaded at the Qingdao terminal in Shandong province.
The Gulf state holds major long-term LNG deals with a number of Asian countries, dominating most of its exports.
In January, Qatar’s exports to China amounted to at least 1 million tonnes, second only to India, which received more than 1.2 million tonnes.
LNG relations between Qatar and China date back to 2009, when the Asian country received its first shipment of Qatari gas. The Gulf state has since provided China with more than 62 million tons of LNG.
Last year, QatarEnergy signed a separate 15-year LNG agreement with the Chinese subsidiary of the National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNNOC), Gas and Power Trading & Marketing Limited.
Under the agreement, Qatar will deliver 3.5 million tonnes of LNG per year from January 2022.
Qatar has signed bigger deals with key countries as it moves towards dominating global LNG production thanks to the North Field expansion project. The multi-billion project is the largest of its kind, aiming to increase Qatar’s annual LNG production capacity from 77 million metric tons to 126 million tons by 2027.
An agreement between Qatar and China to increase production in the Gulf state was signed last October.
QatarEnergy has ordered four new LNG carriers from the Chinese company Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding Group Co. Ltd. (Hudong), a subsidiary of China State Shipbuilding Corporation Limited (CSSC).
The agreement, the first with Hudong, aims to meet the needs of future LNG carriers for the North Field expansion project.
According to December reportsChina became the world’s largest LNG importer in the first 10 months of 2021, with average imports of 10.3 bcf/d (billion cubic feet per day).
Recorded imports marked a 24% increase over the same period in 2020, outpacing Japan. Qatar, the United States and Malaysia covered 11% of China’s total LNG imports during the same period.