DUBAI - QatarEnergy said on Wednesday it had signed a 14.2 billion riyal ($3.90 billion) deal with HD Hyundai Heavy Industries for the South Korean firm to supply it with 17 liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers.

The deal "will support (QatarEnergy's) expanding LNG production capacity from the North Field LNG expansion and Golden Pass LNG export projects as well as its long-term fleet replacement requirements", the state-owned firm said in a statement.

Qatar's North Field Expansion plan will boost its position as the world's top LNG exporter. It includes six LNG trains that will ramp up Qatar's liquefaction capacity from 77 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) to 126 mtpa by 2027.

QatarEnergy had already contracted for 60 ships to be built at Korean and Chinese shipyards in a first phase of its LNG ship acquisition programme, and the 17 ships with HHI mark the start of the programme's second phase, it said.

($1 = 3.6452 Qatar riyals)

(Reporting by Yousef Saba; Editing by Jan Harvey)