(EnergyAsia, December 7 2011, Thursday) — Qatargas has signed off on a tripartite sales and purchase agreement to supply liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Japan’s Chubu Electric Power Company and Shizuoka Gas Company from 2016.

At a signing ceremony at the 2011 World Petroleum Conference in Doha this week, Qatargas said it will transport and deliver ex-ship a minimum of 200,000 tonnes of LNG a year to several receiving terminals at Chita, Kawagoe, Yokkaichi, Joetsu and Sodeshi in Japan.

The agreement was signed by Mohammed Bin Saleh Al Sada, Qatar’s Minister of Energy and Industry, Yuji Kakimi, Chubu Electric Power Company’s general manager of fuels department, and Seigo Iwasaki, chairman and  CEO of Shizuoka Gas Company. 

The LNG will be sourced from the Qatargas 1 joint venture whose shareholders include state-owned Qatar Petroleum, US major ExxonMobil, France’s Total, and Japanese trading houses Mitsui and Marubeni. Qatargas 1 owns and operates three LNG trains, each with an annual production capacity of two million tonnes.

Khalid Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Qatargas’ CEO, said: “This agreement…nurtures our long relationship with Chubu Electric Power Company (and) welcomes Shizuoka Gas Company as the first new long-term Japanese buyer of LNG.”

Noting that Qatargas 1 secured its first contracts with Japan in 1992 and 1994, he added:

“This agreement is further testimony of our long-term reliable commitment to Japan and the innovative ways in which Qatargas is able support new customers. Whether for a very large sale of LNG or for a smaller volume like under this Tripartite SPA, Qatargas values all of its customers and seeks to assist them all in their aspirations to grow in the future.”

Qatargas has sold an additional nine million tonnes of LNG to Japan since the earthquake-tsunami disaster of March 2011.

With seven LNG trains, including four mega-trains each with a production capacity of 7.8 million tonnes, Qatargas is the world’s largest LNG producer with an annual capacity of 42 million tonnes.