Oman LNG has agreed to supply China’s Unipec with around 1 million metric tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) per year for four years starting 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-year supply deal with QatarEnergy for 4 million tonnes of LNG per year, 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 on piped gas and long-term contracts instead, 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.
Oman LNG had last month signed a supply deal with Turkey’s energy importer BOTAS for 1 million tonnes of LNG per year, and agreed to provide up to 1.6 million tonnes 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 million tonnes of LNG per year, starting in 2025, for up to 10 years.