Qatar Petroleum has inked three deals with South Korean shipbuilders reserving slots for its LNG tanker fleet expansion valued over $19 billion.

Qatari giant said on Monday it has signed deals to reserve LNG ship construction capacity in South Korea to be utilized for its future LNG carrier fleet requirements, including those for the ongoing expansion projects in the North Field and in the United States.

Under the agreements, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME), Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) and Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) – will reserve a major portion of their LNG ship construction capacity for Qatar Petroleum through the year 2027.

Commenting following the contracts signing, Qatar Petroleum president and CEO, and Qatari minister of state for energy affairs, Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, noted that the company moving full steam ahead with the North Field expansion projects to raise Qatar’s LNG production capacity from 77 million today to 126 million tons per annum by 2027.

“These agreements will ensure our ability to meet our future LNG fleet requirements to support our expanding LNG production capacity and long-term fleet replacement requirements”, he said.

Al-Kaabi added that the company now has everything in place to commence the largest LNG shipbuilding program in history.

“We have secured approximately 60% of the global LNG shipbuilding capacity through 2027 to cater for our LNG carrier fleet requirements in the next 7-8 years, which could reach 100+ new vessels with a program value in excess of 70 billion Qatari Riyals (over $19.2billion)”, he said.

The new LNG vessels will be equipped with slow-speed dual-fuel engines utilizing LNG as fuel, Al-Kaabi stressed.

Being the largest of its kind in the history of the LNG industry, Qatar Petroleum’s LNG carrier fleet program will meet the company’s shipping requirements as well as replacing Qatar’s existing LNG fleet.

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