QatarEnergy chief Saad al-Kaabi told Reuters on Monday the firm signed a 27-year sales and purchase agreement with China’s Sinopec, the longest in the history of liquefied natural gas (LNG) deals.
“Today is an important milestone for the first sales and purchase agreement for the North Field East project, it is 4 million tons for 27 years to Sinopec of China,” Kaabi said at an interview in Doha, shortly before the signing of the deal.
“It means long-term deals are here and important for both seller and buyer,” he said.
The North Field is part of the world’s biggest gas field that Qatar shares with Iran, which calls its share South Pars.
QatarEnergy earlier this year signed deals for North Field East, the first and larger phase of the two-phase North Field expansion plan, which includes six LNG trains that will ramp up Qatar’s liquefaction capacity to 126 million tons per year by 2027 from 77 million.
It also later signed contracts with partners for North Field South, the second phase of the expansion.
“We are very happy about this deal with Sinopec because we have had a long-term relationship in the past and this takes our relationship to new heights as we have an SPA that will last into the 2050s,” Kaabi said.
Kaabi said negotiations with other buyers in China and Europe and globally that want to have security of supply were ongoing.
“I think the recent volatility has driven buyers to understand the importance of having long-term supply,” he said.
Kaabi also added that negotiations for an equity stake in the Gulf country’s expansion project were ongoing with several entities.
QatarEnergy has maintained a 75% stake overall in the expansion and could give up to 5% of that stake to some buyers.
Sources told Reuters in June that China’s national oil majors were in advanced talks with Qatar to invest in North Field East.