Qatar to Increase LNG Sales to Europe

December 24, 2013

Qatar is poised to boost contracted liquefied natural gas exports to Europe by the most in five years as prices in the region are at their highest since 2006, Bloomberg reported on December 23. 

Qatari shipments to Europe under medium- or long-term contracts will rise 22 percent next year, the biggest jump since 2009, according to data from Poten & Partners Inc., a New York-based shipbroker. Centrica Plc (CNA), the U.K.’s biggest supplier of energy to homes, last month extended an import contract with state-owned Qatar Liquefied Gas Co., the world’s biggest LNG producer, to December 2018 and increased volumes by 20 percent.

“We are offering good deals because we are ready to sell,” Ibrahim Al Ibrahim, a vice chairman of Qatari state-owned LNG producer Ras Laffan Liquefied Natural Gas Co. and the emir’s economic adviser, said in an interview in Doha. “We have a certain amount of gas. We want to sell it. We will sell it.”

The Gulf nation, which this year signed supply accords with Germany’s EON SE and Petroliam Nasional Bhd’s U.K. unit is increasing shipments to Europe as it from 2015 will face competition from Australian projects that are closer to Asia, home to the world’s biggest consumers. Australia is forecast to overtake Qatar as the largest LNG producer by 2020. The U.S. will start exporting the super-chilled gas by 2016, the International Energy Agency in Paris said in June.

Qatar will supply an extra 6.64 million metric tons to Europe in 2014 in addition to the 19.65 million contracted into the region this year, the Poten data show. That’s the biggest jump since 2009, when the Gulf nation started three of the world’s six largest production plants. Europe will receive a total of 71.5 million tons of LNG under contracts next year, according to Poten.

Copyright: Bloomberg, 2013