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Gas deal strengthens Qatar-China ties

China’s connections to the Gulf continue to expand.
DENOUR/AFP via Getty Images

Qatar’s state-owned oil and gas company signed a major gas deal with Chinese energy giant Sinopec today. 

QatarEnergy and Sinopec signed a sale and purchase agreement whereby Qatar will provide China with four million tons of liquified natural gas per year over a period of 27 years, the official Qatar News Agency reported. 

The agency did not specify what QatarEnergy would receive in return for the gas. The company was not available for comment. 

Why it matters: Qatar is one of the biggest producers in the world of liquified natural gas (LNG). Qatar’s energy exports — including LNG —  have doubled this year, with increased European interest in Qatari gas in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. However, Europe has yet to sign a comprehensive gas deal with Qatar. The QatarEnergy-Sinopec deal could increase pressure on Europe as a result, Bloomberg reporter Stephen Stapczynski said on Twitter. 

The QatarEnergy-Sinopec deal also further signifies improving relations between Qatar and China, which recently sent pandas to Qatar in honor of the World Cup in Doha. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi visited Qatar last year to discuss the situation in Afghanistan. 

Know more: China is getting particularly close to Qatar’s Gulf neighbors the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, with which energy ties are expanding. Last month, the Saudi and Chinese energy ministers pledged further cooperation regarding oil markets, hydrogen and more. In August, Sinopec and Saudi Aramco signed a cooperation deal. 

The UAE also purchased military aircraft from China in February. 

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