Mitsui & Co is reportedly mulling to acquire a stake in Qatar’s North Field expansion project, which is designed to produce 48 million tons per annum (mtpa) of liquefied natural gas (LNG).

The stake will help the Japanese trading and investment group ensure a stable LNG supply, reported Reuters, citing a spokesperson of the company.

The unnamed spokesperson, has been quoted by the news agency, as saying: “We have always said that we would consider investing in any quality LNG projects, and the North Field is one of the projects.”

However, the company representative refused to reveal more details on a possible deal with QatarEnergy.

In a report earlier this month by the Nikkei business daily, it was mentioned that Mitsui was considering the possibility of acquiring a stake in the North Field as a member of a Japanese consortium, with potential participation from JERA.

JERA is engaged in multiple talks with Qatar, which has been a significant LNG supplier from the Middle East. A spokesperson from JERA confirmed the discussions but chose not to provide further details, wrote Reuters.

Separately, QatarEnergy has signed two long-term LNG sale and purchase agreements (SPAs) with Shell for delivering up to 3.5mtpa of LNG from Qatar to the Netherlands.

In accordance with the SPAs, LNG shipments are scheduled to commence in 2026, with a 27-year duration, to the Gate LNG terminal situated within the Port of Rotterdam.

The LNG volumes will originate from the two collaborative ventures involving QatarEnergy and Shell, which have stakes in the North Field East (NFE) and North Field South (NFS) expansion projects.

Earlier this month, a groundbreaking ceremony of the North Field expansion project was held. The project is aimed to increase Qatar’s LNG production capacity from the present 77mtpa to 126mtpa by 2026.

The NFE expansion project will have four trains, while the NFS expansion project will add two trains. Each of the trains will have a capacity of 8mtpa.