China is consistently pursuing its energy transition and has just signed a new supply contract for Qatari liquefied natural gas.

Qatar Petroleum, Qatar’s state-owned oil and gas company, has struck a deal with Chinese oil and gas company China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (Sinopec) to supply the latter with 2 million tonnes of LNG annually, the Qatari company said Monday.

The contract is for a period of ten years. “Under the contract, LNG deliveries will start in January 2022. This agreement also demonstrates Qatar’s continued commitment to meeting the growing energy needs of customers around the world with reliable long-term LNG,” the Qataris emphasise.

Qatar Petroleum also reports that, since its first LNG delivery to China in September 2009, Qatar’s total delivered volume of LNG to that country has exceeded 62 million tonnes. China is a key and strategic energy partner for Qatar and a key driver of demand growth on the global LNG market.

Qatar is the world’s leading producer and largest exporter of LNG producer and largest exporter. In 2009-2019, it doubled its sales of liquefied gas abroad from 51.8 bcm to 107.5 bcm. This Middle-Eastern country has a 22.1 per cent share of the global LNG market.

A chief rival to the Arab countries is Australia holding a 21.2 per cent share. Qatar, however, operates in a wider area, including Europe, where demand for LNG is rising. The U.S. has 9.8 percent of the LNG market and Russia 7.2 percent. Malaysia is also a significant exporter – 7.3 percent. (BP energy report data for 2020).

In 2017, Qatar lifted a moratorium imposed in 2005 on the development of the northern gas field, located northeast of the coast. This is part of the huge South Pars field, the other part of which is being mined by Iran.

By Martin Chomsky (photo: Qatargas)