The Chinese oil and gas enterprise will take a stake of 5% in one of the four LNG trains of the 32Mtpa Qatari midstream project

QatarEnergy Sinopec NFE

Signing of the definitive partnership agreement between Sinopec and QatarEnergy for the North Field East expansion project. (Credit: QatarEnergy)

QatarEnergy and China Petrochemical (Sinopec) have signed an agreement to facilitate the latter’s participation in the $28.75bn North Field East expansion project (NFE project) in Qatar.

As per the terms of the agreement, QatarEnergy will transfer a stake of 5% to the Chinese company in one of the four trains of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) project with a capacity of eight million tons per annum (Mtpa).

The agreement will not impact the participating stakes of any of the other shareholders in the 32Mtpa LNG project, said QatarEnergy.

Sinopec chairman Ma Yongsheng said that the agreement is a result of last year’s meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani during the China-Arab Summit and China-GCC Summit.

In November 2022, QatarEnergy and Sinopec signed an agreement under which the latter will be supplied with 4Mtpa of LNG from the North Field East expansion project for a period of 27 years.

Yongsheng said: “China-Qatar energy cooperation features a natural complementarity. QatarEnergy is a leading LNG producer in the world and one of the most important partners of Sinopec. The cooperation with QatarEnergy will help Sinopec further optimise China’s energy consumption structure and enhance the security, stability, and reliability of clean energy supply.

“I hope that the two companies will continue to explore new LNG cooperation opportunities based on the solid foundation we have laid together and will further expand cooperation areas to achieve mutual benefit and win-win results.”

The North Field East expansion project is aimed to increase the LNG export capacity of Qatar from the current 77Mtpa to 110Mtpa.

Qatar Minister of State for Energy Affairs and QatarEnergy CEO Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi said: “The People’s Republic of China is a major driver of the global energy markets as well as being one of the most important gas markets in the world and is a key market for Qatari energy products.

“Today’s event underscores QatarEnergy’s commitment to deepening its relationships with key LNG consumers, while prioritising long-term strategic partnerships and alignment with world class partners from China, represented by Sinopec here today.”

In addition to Sinopec, QatarEnergy’s partners in the North Field East expansion project include TotalEnergies, Eni, ConocoPhillips, and ExxonMobil.