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US, Qatar pursue LNG expansion projects
Four oil majors clinch deals for US$30 billion expansion of Qatar’s North Field
Michael Marray 15 Jun 2022

Qatar and the United States are pressing ahead with the massive expansion of their respective liquefied natural gas export capacity, moves that are expected to dramatically alter the global LNG market in the medium term.

Qatar has selected TotalEnergies, Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell, and ConocoPhillips as partners for the US$30 billion expansion of its North Field project,  said to be the world’s biggest natural gas field.

The expansion plan includes six LNG trains, which will ramp up Qatar’s liquefaction capacity from 77 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) to 126 mtpa by 2027.

The four trains are part of the North Field East (NFE) expansion, while the other two trains are part of the second phase, the North Field South.  

French oil major TotalEnergies says it has been awarded a 25% interest in the NFE, with state-owned QatarEnergy holding the remaining 75%.

The US is also ramping up its LNG export capacity. Venture Global LNG recently closed a US$13.2 billion project financing for the construction of the initial phase (13.33 mpta) of the Plaquemines LNG facility in Louisiana, and the associated Gator Express pipeline.

Bank of America, Goldman Sachs Bank USA, ING, JPMorgan Chase Bank, Mizuho Bank, Morgan Stanley and Royal Bank of Canada, served as lead banks to Venture Global for the transaction. Latham & Watkins served as counsel to Venture Global, while Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom served as counsel for the lenders.

The lender group also includes Banco Santander, Bank of China, CaixaBank, Deutsche Bank New York Branch, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Landesbank Baden Württemberg, MUFG Bank, Natixis, Nomura Securities International, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, The Bank of Nova Scotia, and Truist Bank.

“The Venture Global team is proud to announce (final investment decision) on our second project, Plaquemines LNG, just months after exports began at Calcasieu Pass," says Mike Sabel, CEO of Venture Global LNG. “Plaquemines will build on the success of Calcasieu Pass, which broke global records for speed and execution. The project has attracted robust financial and commercial support which has enabled us to formally sanction this project at a critical moment for energy markets."

"Speed matters more than ever and Venture Global is uniquely positioned to quickly bring US LNG to the market to support global energy security and environmental progress," Sabel adds.

The company has already signed 20-year sales and purchase agreements (SPAs) for 80% of the full 20 mtpa project. Plaquemines LNG phase one customers include PGNiG, Sinopec, CNOOC, Shell and EDF. Phase two customers include ExxonMobil, Petronas and New Fortress Energy. 

Marketing is underway for the company’s third facility, CP2, and two SPAs with ExxonMobil and New Fortress Energy have already been executed for the project.

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