Qatar sent off first cargo LNG
Monday Dec. 23 Qatar joined the exclusive league of international gas exporters as a customised LNG tanker left its
Ras Laffan port for Japan. The cargo, equivalent to 65,000 tonnes of LNG, is the first of 100 mmt of LNG contracted
by Japan's Chubu Electric Power Company under a sales-and-purchase agreement running over 25 years. The gas was
supplied by the Qatar Liquefied Gas Company Ltd (Qatargas) which is owned 65 % owned by the Qatar government, 10 %
each by Mobil and France's Total and 7.5 % each by Japan's Mitsui and Marubeni. Another ship, the Al Khor, is
expected to dock in early January to carry a second shipment.
Qatargas is the first of the Gulf Arab state's three major gas export projects designed to utilise its massive gas reserves- the third largest in the world after Russia and Iran. It is designed to produce 6 mmtpy of which 4 mmtpy is committed to Chubu and 2 mmtpy to seven other Japanese power and gas utilities. The other projects are Ras Laffan LNG Company, or Rasgas, which aims to export 10 mmtpy eventually and Qatar-Enron LNG Marketing Company designed to produce 5 mmtpy. Rasgas' first phase, expected to produce 5 mmtpy, is expected to go on stream in July 1999, and Qatar-Enron project in 2001.