Qatar Petroleum has invited a number of leading ship owners to participate in a tender for the long-term time charter of up to 100 LNG carriers. These vessels will be used to support the planned North Field expansion project as well as the Golden Pass LNG export terminal in the United States. Furthermore, the tender includes options to replace time charters for a number of Qatar’s LNG carriers that will expire in the next few years.
It is understood that Qatar Petroleum has entered into agreements with a number of South Korean and Chinese shipyards to reserve space for the construction of up to 100 newbuild LNG tankers. Once it has received responses to this recent invitation to tender (ITT), Qatar Petroleum says it plans to assess the bidders’ technical and commercial capabilities with the aim of matching the selected ship owners to the shipyard construction slots it has reserved.
Commenting on this occasion, His Excellency Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, Energy Minister, said that meeting Qatar Petroleum’s future LNG carrier fleet requirements, would involve the largest LNG shipbuilding program in history. “The release of this ITT package is a major milestone in our efforts towards securing the most qualified ship owners and operators for our future LNG carrier fleet,” he added.
Qatar Petroleum has entrusted Qatargas with the management of the shipowner selection program on its behalf. Qatargas has a proven track-record of establishing long-term partnerships that have successfully and safely operated a fleet of 45 Q-Flex and Q-Max LNG carriers, the world’s largest LNG carriers, which constitute the backbone of Qatar’s LNG carrier fleet.