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Qatar looks to China to absorb new LNG capacity

Houston: Qatar is looking to China to absorb some of the huge increase in liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplies as the world's biggest LNG exporter nears completion of its plan to double production capacity this year, according to Bloomberg.?Qatar inaugurates today the second of three giant LNG plants it has started up in 2009. The plants are the largest in the world, and were expected to help Qatar's economic growth this year outperform oil-exporting Gulf Arab neighbours constrained by OPEC output quotas.?"Qatar is going to want to lock up China before anyone else comes in with new production, mainly Iran and grassroots LNG projects in China itself," said Al Troner, president of Asia Pacific Energy Consulting in Houston.?"It is a relationship that is not going to be mutually exclusive, but it is going to get deeper ... China will always take some LNG and I believe that commonly talked about ceiling of about 30 million metric tonnes per year annually is pretty likely... and they will have enormous gas needs."?The world's second-largest consumer of energy imported a record 800,000 tonnes of LNG in September. Imports in October are expected to be at similar levels.?Last week China received its first LNG cargo of about 216,000 tonnes from Qatar, part of a 25-year supply deal between two state companies: the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) and Qatargas. [27/10/09]

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