• QatarEnergy has selected Nakilat to own and operate up to 25 LNG carriers as part of its fleet expansion project.
  • Vessels to be built at South Korean shipyards, including Samsung Heavy Industries and Hanwha Ocean, and will support Qatar’s plan to increase its LNG production from 77 to 126 million tons per year.
  • Deal marks the first of the second batch of QatarEnergy’s long-term TCPs under its LNG Fleet Expansion Project.
  • Fleet expansion programme also aims to support the shipment of gas produced from the Golden Pass LNG Export Project in Texas.

QatarEnergy, the state-run energy company of Qatar, has awarded Qatar’s Gas Transport Company Limited, Nakilat, with the full ownership and operation of 25 conventional-size liquified natural gas (LNG) carriers under a Time Charter Parties (TCP) agreement, the Qatari gas giant announced on Saturday.

A TCP stipulates that a shipowner leases a fully equipped and manned vessel for a fixed period to a charterer. The latest deal marked the first of the second batch of QatarEnergy’s long-term TCPs under its LNG Fleet Expansion Project. The 25 vessels are scheduled for construction at South Korean shipyards.

The second phase kicked off in September last year in a deal worth nearly $4bn with South Korea’s HD Hyundai Heavy Industries for 17 LNG carriers, and continued with Samsung Heavy Industries most recently securing a $3.45bn order for 15 ships. Samsung Heavy Industries and Hanwha Ocean are on track to finalize shipbuilding contracts in March as part of QatarEnergy’s expanded second phase LNG carrier ordering project.

The project aims to meet Qatar’s future requirements under its North Field Expansion Project, the largest of its kind in the industry. The multibillion project comes under Qatar’s LNG endeavours and is split into two parts; the North Field East (NFE) and the North Field South (NFS). NFE is set to ramp up Qatar’s LNG production from 77 to 110 mtpa (million tonnes per annum) by 2025, as the NFS will increase the production capacity from 110 to 126 mtpa by 2026.

Overall, the project is set to boost Qatar’s LNG production by more than 63 percent while adding 48 mtpa to global production. QatarEnergy inked eight partnership deals with key energy giants globally throughout 2022-2023 for the project, namely TotalEnergies, Eni, ConocoPhillips, Shell, and ExxonMobil.

The fleet expansion programme also aims to support the shipment of gas produced from the Golden Pass LNG Export Project in Texas, a joint venture between QatarEnergy and Exxon Mobil Corp. Golden Pass LNG has a production capacity of at least 18 million tonnes per annum and is set to begin its first production by the end of 2024. In October 2022, QatarEnergy Trading and ExxonMobil signed an agreement stipulating the former would “independently offtake and market their respective proportionate equity shares” of LNG in the U.S. project.


QatarEnergy is one of the world’s leading energy companies, operating across all sectors of the oil and gas industry. It was established in 1974 as a state-owned corporation responsible for all phases of the oil and gas industry in Qatar. It produces about 13 billion standard cubic feet per day (bscfd) of natural gas from giant offshore fields. It also operates several petrochemical plants and refineries that produce liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), gasoline, jet fuel, diesel, lubricants and other products.


Nakilat is an integral component of the supply chain of some of the largest, most advanced energy projects in the world undertaken by Qatar Petroleum, Qatargas, RasGas and their joint venture partners for the State of Qatar. Established in 2004 as a joint stock company, Nakilat provides shipping and maritime services for Qatar’s LNG sector. It owns and operates one of the world’s largest fleets of LNG vessels with a combined carrying capacity of over four million cubic meters. It also manages and operates four very large LPG carriers.

Samsung Heavy Industries

Samsung Heavy Industries is one of the world’s largest shipbuilders, specializing in high-technology and high-value-added ships. It has built various types of ships, including LNG carriers, drillships, FPSOs, container ships, oil tankers and cruise ships. It also provides offshore engineering and construction services for oil and gas projects. It was founded in 1974 as a subsidiary of Samsung Group, one of the largest conglomerates in South Korea.

Hanwha Ocean

Hanwha Ocean is a newly established shipbuilding company that was spun off from Hanwha Aerospace in 2023. It focuses on building LNG carriers, LPG carriers and other specialized vessels. It also provides ship repair and maintenance services. It operates two shipyards in South Korea, one in Yeongdo and one in Busan. It aims to become a global leader in the eco-friendly shipbuilding industry by leveraging its advanced technology and engineering capabilities.

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