The tankers, with total capacity of 145,700 cubic metres, will be delivered to RasGas II between November 2005 and June 2008 and are being chartered for a period of 20 years. Signature of the agreement completes the acquisition process, launched in July, for seven of eight planned new tankers, and the final deal is due to be signed imminently with a Japanese consortium.

In March, RasGas II, a joint venture between the US’ ExxonMobil and Qatar Petroleum, raised a $550 million debt package to pay for four LNG vessels ordered from South Korea’s Samsung Heavy Industries(MEED 12:3:04).