Oman LNG inks deal to supply China's Unipec with 1 metric MMtpy of LNG

(Reuters) - Oman LNG has agreed to supply China's Unipec with ~1 metric MMtpy of liquefied natural gas (LNG) per year for four years starting in 2025, state news agency ONA said on Tuesday.

This is the first contract that Oman LNG has signed with a Chinese firm, with the contract being a step that "promotes the company's efforts to reach new markets," said Oman LNG in a Twitter post on the deal.

Unipec is the trading arm of Asia's largest refiner, Sinopec.

Earlier in November, Sinopec signed a 27-yr supply deal with QatarEnergy for 4 metric MMtpy of LNG, the longest such agreement to date.

China's Shenzhen Energy Group had also signed a long-term agreement in November with oil major bp to buy LNG, though details of the contract were not mentioned.

China was the world's biggest importer of LNG in 2021, but surrendered the title back to Japan last year as stringent COVID lockdowns disrupted its economy.

The country had also cut back on spot purchases this winter, relying instead on piped gas and long-term contracts after gas prices soared following Russia's supply cuts to Europe. Russia's move placed enormous strain on the European and global gas market, leading Asian spot LNG prices to also hit record highs last year.

Last month, Oman LNG signed a supply deal with Turkey's energy importer BOTAS for 1 metric MMtpy of LNG and agreed to provide up to 1.6 metric MMtpy of LNG to France's TotalEnergies and Thailand's state-owned firm PTT Pcl.

In December, it inked deals with Japanese electricity generator JERA, and trading houses Mitsui & Co and Itochu Corp to supply 2.35 metric MMtpy of LNG, starting in 2025, for up to 10 yr. 

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