UPDATE 2-Kuwait signs $3 bln deal to buy gas from BP
* Energy demand soars in Kuwait during the summer
* Kuwait expects to import 2.5 mln tonnes of gas annually
* Deals with BP, Shell and Qatargas this year (Adds details on shipments)
By Ahmed Hagagy
KUWAIT, May 13 (Reuters) - Kuwait signed a five-year liquefied natural gas (LNG) supply deal with BP on Tuesday, worth an estimated $3 billion, as it seeks to meet rising energy demand to power air conditioning during the scorching Gulf summers.
Kuwait, a major OPEC oil producer, on Sunday agreed a $12 billion LNG supply deal over six years with Royal Dutch Shell and will also import gas from fellow Gulf state Qatar.
The BP deal, signed by state-run Kuwait Petroleum Corp (KPC), will help Kuwait run its power plants through the hottest time of the year.
"The amount contracted by the three companies that we signed with will be up to 2.5 million tonnes per year," said Nasser al-Mudaf, head of the KPC's international marketing division.
He was referring to the LNG deals with Shell, BP and state-run Qatargas and said this was an annual estimated amount over the next few years.
The LNG from the three companies will come in 32 shipments per year, each one comprising 80,000 tonnes, Mudhaf said. Shell will send 18 shipments, Qatargas will send eight and BP will send six, he added.
Kuwait began importing LNG, natural gas frozen to a liquid for transport on tankers, in 2009. Over the previous four years it has signed deals with Shell and Swiss-based trader Vitol to supply it during the peak power demand period from April to October.
(Additional reporting and writing by Sylvia Westall,; Editing by William Hardy and David Evans)
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