It currently imports about 2 billion cubic metres a year from Qatar.

The firm, which is 31 per cent owned by Spanish oil company Repsol YPF, says it hopes to increase LNG imports from all markets by 9 billion cubic metres to 35 billion cubic metres by 2012.

Earlier this year Qatargas signed agreements with PetroChina for the long-term supply of LNG (MEED 10:4:08).

The LNG for China will come from the Qatargas 4 project and will be shipped to PetroChina’s LNG receiving terminals once they start commercial operations. The agreements are for 3 million tonnes of LNG a year for 25 years.

Qatar is planning to expand its LNG production to 77 million tonnes a year by 2010.