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Qatar is pushing diplomatic efforts to protect its LNG market share, with the latest example a high-level visit to Japan by senior Qatari delegates on 27 October.
Qatar Petroleum (QP) CEO Sa’d al-Ka’bi, and Shaikh Khalid bin Khafila Al Thani, who heads QP’s subsidiary Qatargas this week, led a delegation of senior officials from a range of state-owned companies. Discussions with Japanese LNG buyers were focused “on increasing Qatari LNG exports to Japan, and expanding cooperation in other areas of mutual interest,” QP says.
Some key Japanese buyers included power utilities like Chubu Electric, Tokyo Electric (Tepco), Kansai Electric and Tohoku Electric, as well as upstream player JX Nippon oil and gas and financial entities such as Bank of Tokyo and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking. Japan is the world’s largest LNG importer – it purchased a record 89.2mn tons in 2014 as its nuclear fleet remained idle in the aftermath of 2011’s Fukushima disaster. It is also Qatar’s top LNG buyer: Japanese utilities took 16.14mn tons of Qatari LNG last year.
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