By Regan Doherty
DOHA, Feb 9 (Reuters) - Qatar’s Rasgas has agreed to sell South Korea’s state-run Korea Gas Corp (KOGAS) an additional 2 million tonnes a year of liquefied natural gas (LNG) for the next 20 years, the two companies said in a statement on Thursday.
Kogas, one of the world’s biggest LNG buyers, already has contracts with Rasgas to receive a total of around 7 million tonnes a year until 2024-2026.
“This agreement is further evidence of these strong ties and helpful for long term security of LNG supply to Korea,” Kogas chief operating officer Young Sung Park said in a statement.
Qatar, which with an annual production capacity of 77 million tonnes is the world’s leading LNG exporter, had been struggling to find buyers for all of it until a tsunami wrecked Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant in March 2011.
A subsequent rise in Qatari LNG exports to Asia, combined with rising demand from new importers elsewhere, has stoked fears of tighter supplies in Europe over the next few years and put pressure on buyers to lock in long-term deals.
Rasgas, one of two LNG exporters in Qatar, was established in 2001 by Qatar Petroleum and U.S. energy giant ExxonMobil and has an annual capacity of 37 million tonnes.
Sister company Qatargas has also signed a number of long term LNG deals with customers from Latin America to Asia over the last year. (Reporting by Regan Doherty, writing by Daniel Fineren; editing by Jason Neely)