Exxon Mobil Corp and Qatar Petroleum (QP) said they have acquired a 90% interest in the Edison Gas North Adriatic liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal project. Separately, Ras Laffan Liquefied Natural Gas Company Limited II (RasGas II) and Edison Gas S.p.A. of Italy have signed amended sale and purchase agreements to increase LNG supplies from the initially agreed level of 3.5 million tons annually (MTA) to 4.7 MTA of LNG, commencing in 2007.

The North Adriatic LNG Terminal will be located off of the northern coast of Italy. The terminal agreements provide for a 90% interest for Qatar Petroleum and ExxonMobil, while Edison Gas S.p.A. will maintain a 10% share.

QP and ExxonMobil’s shares will be equally divided between the two companies, which will each own a 45% share of the terminal equity.

An ExxonMobil statement said: “The agreements cover the development of an offshore gasification facility utilising the most advanced technologies. Startup is scheduled for 2007 and it is anticipated that the front-end engineering and design contract (FEED) for the terminal should be signed within the next few weeks.”

“The North Adriatic LNG Terminal is expected to provide Italy with the most modern state-of-the-art terminal facilities and to support the Italian government’s efforts to secure the country’s increasing energy demands in the long-term.”

The gas for this project will be sourced from Qatar’s giant North Field, which has recoverable resources of more than 900 trillion cubic feet of gas.