Qatar to extend North Field East LNG with Sinopec as partner

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QatarEnergy, the state-owned oil and gas company of Qatar, has signed a definitive partnership agreement with China Petrochemical Corporation (Sinopec) for the North Field East (NFE) expansion project. The NFE project is the largest project in the history of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry, and this agreement marks the entry of Sinopec as a shareholder in one of the NFE joint venture companies that own the project.

Under the terms of the agreement, QatarEnergy will transfer to Sinopec a 5% interest in the equivalent of one NFE train with a capacity of 8 million tons per annum (MTPA). This will not affect the participating interests of any of the other shareholders. The agreement is the first of its kind after last year’s series of partnership announcements in the US$28.75 billion NFE project, which will raise Qatar’s LNG export capacity from the current 77 MTPA to 110 MTPA.

Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, the Minister of State for Energy Affairs and the President and CEO of QatarEnergy, emphasized QatarEnergy’s commitment to deepening its relationships with key LNG consumers and prioritising long-term strategic partnerships and alignment with world-class partners such as Sinopec.

Minister Al-Kaabi also noted the importance of the People’s Republic of China as a major driver of the global energy markets and one of the most important gas markets in the world. He said that Sinopec will join Qatar’s LNG family becoming the first Asian shareholder in the NFE project. Noting the November 2022 agreement to supply Sinopec with 4 MTPA of LNG from the NFE project, he said that the agreement was not only the first NFE LNG supply agreement to be announced but also the longest LNG supply agreement in the history of the industry.

Dr. Ma Yongsheng, the Chairman of Sinopec, said the China-Qatar energy cooperation features a natural complementarity, and 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. He expressed the hope that the two companies will continue to explore new LNG cooperation opportunities based on the solid foundation they have laid together.

The NFE project is expected to start production in the fourth quarter of 2025 and will have a capacity of 32 MTPA. QatarEnergy is the world’s largest LNG producer

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