LASMO and National Power, both of the UK, have signed a memorandum of understanding with the government concerning an integrated project to import liquefied natural gas (LNG) and generate power. The two companies are to undertake a feasibility study for the project at a cost of around $1 million. The study is expected to take a year and will examine the possible sites for an LNG import terminal on the country’s southern coast. If the project goes ahead it will be open to international tender, LASMO says.

The government is already considering the import of gas by pipeline from Qatar, Iran or Turkmenistan, in order to meet energy requirements in the next century.

No final decision has yet been made.

LASMO says that the import of LNG would complement pipeline schemes and allow flexibility in meeting the country’s energy needs.

Regional suppliers of LNG include Oman and Qatar. Oman LNG is set to sign sales agreements for the full capacity of its liquefaction plant with Korea Gas Corporation (KGC) and with the Petroleum Authority of Thailand. The high costs involved in exploiting further gas reserves in Oman mean that expansion is unlikely in the near future. Qatar’s Ras Laffan LNG Company have an agreement with KGC for the purchase of 2.4 million tonnes a year (t/y) and are looking to agree a deal for a further 3 million t/y.