As the importance of China’s role in the global liquefied natural gas (LNG) sector grows, the energy dimensions to Sino-Qatari relations have significantly deepened. The shift is taking place in a context featuring rising tensions in China’s relationships with two top competitors of Qatar in the LNG export market—Australia and the US. Against this backdrop, Beijing views Doha as an increasingly stable energy partner and resource investment target.
On June 20, state-owned QatarEnergy and China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) signed a 27-year deal with the former agreeing to annually provide the latter with 4M tons of LNG. The move follows an identical 27-year agreement between QatarEnergy and China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (Sinopec) penned last November. At the time, the deal was the longest LNG supply contract ever signed.
China is doing well in the race to secure supplies from the expansion project of the North Field, Qatar’s share of the world’s largest gas field. Neighboring Iran’s section of the reserve is known as South Pars. CNPC also took an equity stake in the eastern expansion of the North Field LNG project as part of another agreement signed on June 20. The stake amounts to 5% of an LNG train with an annual capacity of 8M tons. Of further note, Sinopec on Apr. 12 became the first
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