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Fresh LNG sales deals between Qatar and EDF and RWE confirm the LNG superpower’s strategy of forging stronger alliances with European buyers in response to an Asia-Pacific supply glut. But a strong buyers’ market is making it difficult for Qatar to dictate the terms, with buyers insisting on ever-more flexibility.
Under the most recent deal, Qatargas agreed to deliver up to 1.1mn tons/year to RWEST, the supply and trading arm of Germany’s RWE, as part of a “flexible sale and purchase agreement” (SPA). The LNG will come from Qatargas 3, a JV grouping Qatar Petroleum, ConocoPhillips and Mitsui. The SPA with RWE will last seven and a half years. For its part, France’s EDF signed up to another SPA with Qatar’s Rasgas for the supply of up to 2mn t/y into its newly commissioned import terminal in Dunkirk, northern France. This comes on top of three exiting long-term SPAs between the two companies, for the delivery of up to 4.6mn t/y to EDF’s Italian subsidiary Edison and up to 3.5mn t/y to EDF Trading in Belgium.
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