(EnergyAsia, July 24 2013, Wednesday) — Qatar has sold its first liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargo to Malaysia, said state-owned Qatargas Operating Company Limited, also known as Qatargas.

Purchased by Malaysian state firm Petronas LNG Ltd, the cargo was loaded on board the “Seri Begawan” vessel at Ras Laffan Port for delivery to the country’s first LNG receiving terminal in Melaka state.

The cargo was supplied by Qatargas 2, a joint venture between Qatar Petroleum, ExxonMobil and Total. Qatargas and Petronas recently concluded a master sales and purchase agreement to facilitate this spot as well as future sales.

Qatar’s Minister of Energy and Industry Dr Mohamed bin Saleh al-Sada, who is also Qatargas chairman, said:

“We are pleased with this development as it marks Qatargas’s entry into a new and promising LNG market, helping meet the growing demand for energy in Malaysia and building a stronger relationship with Petronas.

“Qatari LNG continues to play a key role in supporting efforts by countries around the world to diversify their energy supplies using gas as an environmentally friendly source of energy.”

Qatargas said it sees Southeast Asia as an increasingly important growing regional market.

To date, the company has helped commissioned LNG import terminals in Thailand and Singapore by supplying their first cargoes.

Qatargas supplied Thailand’s first LNG cargo when state-owned PTT started up its Map Ta Phut receiving terminal.

Having already delivered several cargoes to Thailand, Qatargas has signed a long-term contract to begin supplying LNG to PTT from 2015.

In April, the company announced that it had delivered its 500th LNG cargo to Japan. Chubu Electric Power Co Inc which bought the first cargo in 1996 is also the buyer of this latest shipment.

In March, Qatargas supplied the first LNG cargo to Singapore LNG Corp Pte Ltd’s (SLNG) newly opened receiving terminal on Jurong Island.

Last September, Qatargas supplied the first LNG cargo to mark the commissioning of the Zhejiang terminal in China.

Established in 1984, Qatargas is the world’s largest LNG producer, with an annual LNG production capacity of 42 million tonnes.