Qatar Petroleum (QP) has signed a framework agreement with UK-Dutch oil major Shell to develop infrastructure for liquefied natural gas (LNG) marine fuelling.

The agreement was signed by QP’s Wave LNG Solutions subsidiary and the Shell Gas & Power Developments business to evaluate and progress with the development of LNG bunkering facilities at locations across Europe, the Middle East and East Asia.

LNG bunkering provides the shipping industry with a new cleaner fuel ahead of stricter sulphur and nitrogen oxide emission regulations, the companies said in a joint statement. In October 2016, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) announced the introduction of a global 0.5-per-cent sulphur cap from 2020.

“LNG demand for bunkering is expected to increase significantly over the coming years and we believe there is real potential for such demand to reach up to 50 million tonnes a-year by 2030,” says QP’s president and CEO, Saad Sherida al-Kaabi.

The agreement follows two memorandums of understanding (MoUs) Shell and Qatargas signed with industry partners in 2016 to explore LNG bunkering opportunities in the Middle East.

QP along with its subsidiaries is the largest producer and exporter of LNG in the world. Shell participates in Qatar’s LNG sector with a 30 per cent interest in the Qatargas 4 operations producing 7.8 million tonnes a year (t/y) of LNG and 70,000 b/d of natural gas liquids.

This article has been unlocked to allow non-subscribers to sample MEED’s content for FREE. MEED provides exclusive news, data and analysis about the Middle East every day. Subscribe to MEED to have full access to Middle East business intelligence. Click here