Qatar Petroleum (QP) has signed three agreements to reserve liquefied natural gas (LNG) ship construction capacity in the Republic of Korea.

The agreements for more than 100 ships are estimated to be QR70bn ($19.2bn).

The capacity will be used for future LNG carrier fleet requirements of QP, which includes current expansion projects in the North Field, Qatar, and in the US.

According to the agreements, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME), Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) and Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) will reserve a major part of their construction capacity for LNG ships until 2027.

The officials signed the agreement in a virtual ceremony due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Qatar Minister of State for Energy Affairs Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi said: “The signing of today’s agreements with the three esteemed Korean companies reflects our commitment to the North Field expansion projects, even during these extraordinary times.

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“As I have previously stated, we are moving full steam ahead with the North Field expansion projects to raise Qatar’s LNG production capacity from 77 million today to 126 million tonnes per annum by 2027 to ensure the reliable supply of additional clean energy to the world at a time when investments to meet these requirements are most needed.

“These agreements will ensure our ability to meet our future LNG fleet requirements to support our expanding LNG production capacity and long-term fleet replacement requirements.”

In April, QP signed a QR11bn ($3.01bn) agreement to reserve LNG ship construction capacity in China.

In September last year, QP and Royal Dutch Shell signed an agreement to form a joint venture (JV) to provide LNG marine bunkering services around the world.