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Qatar and China Strike Second Major, 27-year Gas Supply Deal in Same Year

On June 20, 2023, China and Qatar has signed a new deal on gas supply deal, agreeing to supply the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) with four million metric tonnes of LNG (liquefied petroleum gas) annually for the upcoming 27 years, while the CNPC also look forward to taking an five percent equity stake in the LNG expansion project, located in the North field of Qatar, estimating to be equivalent to values of four hundred thousand metric tonnes year, as one gas train can hold 8 million metric tons annually.

The act is seen to be securing resources for companies like Sinopec, the state-owned Chinese gas giant that is the largest oil and petrochemical products supplier and the second largest oil and gas producer in China, the largest refining company and the second largest chemical company in the world. Identically, Sinopec also received the same deal. The company became the first Asian partner for Qatar’s project.

The deal marks a closer cooperative relationship between China and Qatar, as the deal will be the second major energy deal Qatar signed within a year, with the last one being singed with Germany on November 29, 2022, when the Europeans struggled to seek alternative supply to phase out reliance to Russian energy, after the Ukraine-Russian War broke out. The deal was to supply Germany with two million metric tons of gas annually from 2026, by 15 years long, similarly a long-period deal.

Reported by several outlets, such as Financial Times, Saad al-Kaabi, Qatar’s energy minister and CEO of QatarEnergy, the Qatar company that signed the agreement as the representative, has told reporters that he expect to continue signing major, long-term contracts with several more European countries, such as that they are currently on discussion with UK companies about gas supply, and are expecting to reach new agreements before the end of 2023. The company is currently major gas suppliers for parts of the UK, such as in the Wales, making up to supply fifth of UK’s gas needs.

After the Ukraine-Russia war broke out in February 2022, energy import demanding countries in Europe, such as the UK and Germany has been seeking alternatives, targeting to get new supply from Middle East suppliers like Qatar and Saudi Arabia, eventually stabilising oil price to normal standard in May 2023, yet observers and analysts has warned that Europe’s energy crisis is still ongoing, as the continent is still looking for secure solutions for next upcoming winter, after a possible hot summer that brings drought, impacting renewable energy productions like hydro energy and nuclear energy.

In conclusion, with Qatar signing new deals with China, a third deal with Asian buyers, and looking forward to signing new contracts with the Europeans by end of 2023, relationship with Qatar might become more important in the future as it become a more important international energy supplier.

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