North Field expansion will increase the Arab Gulf nation’s LNG output to 110 MTPA
LNG Journal editor
Qatar Petroleum has issued an invitation to tender for the reservation of ship construction capacity mainly in South Korea for an initial 60 new LNG carriers to transport its volumes from the expansion of its Ras Laffan liquefaction plant in the Middle East and its Golden Pass facility in the US Gulf Coast.
The company said the tender also included options for replacement requirements for Qatar’s existing LNG fleet.
Qatar Petroleum’s North Field Expansion (NFE) project will increase the Arab Gulf nation’s LNG production capacity from 77 million tonnes per annum to 110 MTPA starting in 2024.
In addition to addressing shipping requirements for the North Field Expansion Project, the tender covers shipping requirements for the LNG volumes that will be purchased and marketed by Ocean LNG, a joint venture between Qatar Petroleum and ExxonMobil from the Golden Pass facility currently under construction for start-up in 2014.
The Golden Pass plant was originally designed as an import facility located on the Sabine-Neches Waterway in Texas before the shale-gas revolution.
It is now being reconfigured at a cost of more than $10 billion to export up to 15.6 MTPA of LNG from an initial three Trains with the Ocean LNG venture trading the cargoes worldwide.
“With this significant step, Qatar Petroleum embarks on another major LNG shipbuilding campaign expected to initially deliver 60 LNG carriers in support of the planned production expansion, with a potential to exceed 100 new LNG carriers over the next decade,” said Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, the President and Chief Executive of Qatar Petroleum.
“This important initiative reinforces Qatar Petroleum’s commitment to its global reputation as a safe and reliable LNG producer at all times and under all circumstances,” added Al-Kaabi.
Korean shipyard executives were previously sounded out by Qatar Petroleum executives on freeing up berths over the next 12 months for a wave of Qatari LNG newbuilds.
Samsung Heavy Industry, Hyundai Heavy Industries and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering are set to receive orders, even as Hyundai and Daewoo may eventually merge under a Korean shipyard consolidation plan.
The Korean yards specialize in constructing the Qatari Q-Flex and Q-Max tanker with between 210,000 cubic metres and 266,000 cubic metres capacity.
A South Korean government spokesman said that the Qataris had outlined their LNG carrier building plans at the start of 2019 during a bilateral summit in Seoul.
Between 2004 and 2007, Qatar ordered 45 LNG carriers from the Korean yards when Daewoo built 19 Qatari carriers, Samsung constructed 18 vessels and Hyundai received orders for eight ships.
The scope of the expansion at the Ras Laffan production complex involves an additional four liquefaction Trains, each with nameplate capacity of 7.8 MTPA.
Qatar Petroleum said it had entrusted its subsidiary Qatargas to execute this LNG ship building program on its behalf.
“This tender, along with the recently released Engineering, Procurement and Construction tender for four new mega-Trains planned as part of the North Field expansion, constitute two monumental and historical milestones as we make major strides in our commitment towards the further development of the world’s largest non-associated gas field,” stated Al-Kaabi.