Qatar Petroleum, one of the world’s top liquefied natural gas (LNG) suppliers, has ordered four new LNG carriers for its North Field expansion projects, a statement said on Sunday. 

The new order with Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding Group, a wholly owned subsidiary of China State Shipbuilding Corporation Limited (CSSC), is estimated to be worth in excess of 2.8 billion riyals ($769 million). It is the first ever order placed by the company with a Chinese shipyard for LNG ships. 

“I am especially pleased with the signing of this order as it marks our first ever new LNG carrier to be built in the People’s Republic of China,” said Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, the Minister of State for Energy Affairs and president and CEO of Qatar Petroleum. 

The four carriers are the first batch of orders in Qatar Petroleum’s LNG shipbuilding programme, which is expected to cater to LNG fleet requirements for the North Field expansion projects and meet vessel replacement needs. 

Last week, the company secured a deal to supply 3.5 million tonnes of LNG per annum for a period of 15 years to a subsidiary of China National Offshore Oil Corporation, China’s top offshore oil and gas producer. 

Qatar Petroleum is working on the expansion of North Field, the biggest non-associated natural gas field in the world. Once completed, the expansion projects will increase Qatar’s LNG production capacity from 77 million to 126 million tonnes per year. 

(Writing by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria )

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