Energy firms Shell and Qatar Petroleum have formed a joint venture partnership focused on the development of LNG marine fuelling infrastructure.
The newly formed partnership builds on previous agreements between the two firms to explore LNG bunkering opportunities in the Middle East. Following the success of these Memoranda of Understanding both firms will now target opportunities worldwide.
“We are pleased to team up with our long-term partner and industry pioneer, Shell, on this important initiative. We view LNG bunkering as a promising opportunity for LNG to further grow as a clean energy source,” Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, Qatar Petroleum’s President and CEO, said.
The joint venture structure was formed between Shell’s Gas & Power Developments division and Qatar Petroleum’s Wave LNG Solutions subsidiary.
Qatari officials welcomed the deal as a sign of the country’s continued strength in LNG development following tough sanctions from other Gulf states that have damaged its international standing in recent weeks.
Next phase to “evaluate and progress”
The global LNG partners will now “evaluate and progress” the development of LNG bunkering facilities at various locations across Europe, the Middle East and East Asia in response to an “increasing numbers of ship owners and operators” turning to LNG over traditional marine fuels.
“As two of the world’s leading LNG suppliers, Shell and Qatar Petroleum have the capability and experience to deliver LNG as a marine fuel to ship owners and operators who must meet tougher emissions regulations from 2020. We look forward to working with Qatar Petroleum to increase the availability of LNG as a fuel for transport,” Ben van Beurden, CEO of Shell, said.
JV to support Shell’s LNG supply strategy
The commitment by Shell to develop LNG infrastructure is part of the firm’s global strategy to establish LNG as the fuel of choice for marine transport. This has included recent deals to supply the fuel for the world’s first LNG-powered Aframax crude oil tankers and the world’s largest passenger cruise ships.
An agreement with Russia’s Sovcomflot, signed earlier this year, will see Shell supply LNG for four Aframax crude oil tankers, setting a new precedent for the size of vessel operating on LNG. The four Aframax tankers will operate in the Baltic Sea and Northern Europe, transporting crude oil and petroleum products.
“This is an important next step for gas as part of the energy mix. We are proud to work with SCF Group to make these LNG-fuelled Aframax crude oil tankers a reality,” Maarten Wetselaar, director of Integrated Gas and New Energies at Shell, commented.