Qatargas, Maersk Group and Shell Sign Agreement on LNG Bunkers

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Tuesday February 23, 2016

Executives from Qatargas, Maersk Group and Shell Monday announced that they have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to work toward the development of liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a marine fuel. 

The signing of the joint relationship will see the partners "explore the development of new markets for LNG to be used as propulsion fuel for merchant vessels" as a way of replacing heavier fuel oils, and helping to lower emissions "before the end of the current decade."

The MOU envisages LNG supplies coming from the Qatargas 4 gas project, which is a joint venture between Qatar Petroleum and Shell Gas B.V., and potentially being used by Maersk Line for its merchant vessels.

"We are very proud to continue to pioneer new and novel opportunities to utilize Qatar's LNG. We are also proud to partner with industry leaders such as Maersk and Shell to create potential new market opportunities for Qatar's LNG and, at the same time, provide ship operators around the globe with a cleaner fuel alternative to the heavy fuel oils currently in use," said Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, Chairman of Qatargas.

Khalid Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Qatargas Chief Executive Officer, noted that his company had recently celebrated a global first by proving the use of LNG bunkers in the converted diesel engines of its time chartered vessel MV Rasheeda: "The signing of this MOU is an important milestone in this journey."

Michiel Kool, Managing Director and Chairman of Qatar Shell Companies, commented: "Shell has been a pioneer in this area with our investments in LNG for transport infrastructure in Europe and the US, and we look forward to now deploying our expertise to create a regional hub in the Middle East in collaboration with Qatargas, the largest LNG producer in the world and Maersk, the world's largest shipping container company."

In May of 2014 Ship & Bunker reported that DNV GL had described Qatar's entry into the LNG bunkering sector as a "game changer."