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Qatar and UK celebrate 10 years of LNG energy bridge from Ras Laffan to Milford Haven

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Qatar Petroleum and ExxonMobil are celebrating the 10th anniversary of the South Hook LNG import terminal that created an “energy bridge” from the Middle East to the United Kingdom and was built at a cost of more than $1 billion to handle up to 20 percent of UK natural gas needs.

Qatar Petroleum President and Chief Executive Saad bin Sherida al-Kaabi praised the historic relations between Qatar and the UK in a speech in London and stressed the importance of the UK market to Qatar.

“The UK is a very important market for Qatari LNG, as it offers a friendly and attractive business environment, and a stable regulatory framework,” said Al-Kaabi.

“This is driven by the long and historic relations that tie our two countries and people, on many levels and across all walks of life,” he added.

The event was attended by Yousef Ali al-Khater, Qatar’s envoy to the UK, and senior executives from Qatar Petroleum, Qatargas and ExxonMobil as well as from French major Total, which holds a small stake in the terminal.

The next shipment set to arrive at the terminal at Milford Haven in Wales is being delivered by the 266,000 cubic metres capacity Q-Max carrier “Zarga” on October 12. At least two more cargoes are headed for the facility from Qatar before the end of October.

The South Hook terminal was built as part of the Qatargas II project when mega-Trains were constructed at Ras Laffan to take Qatari output to 77 million tonnes per annum and make the Gulf state the world’s largest producer.

Qatargas II’s Train 5 was the third mega-Train to come onstream to coincide with the completion of the first phase of the South Hook terminal in 2009.

“South Hook Terminal is a strategic investment that supports the security of energy supplies to one of the world’s most dynamic and vibrant economies,” said Al-Kaabi as he thanked Qatar’s LNG partners as well as the local Welsh authorities and senior officials in the UK for their continued support.

Three of the mega-Trains, each with 7.8 MTPA of output, are owned solely by the Qatar Petroleum and ExxonMobil joint ventures, while three others also have significant shareholdings belonging to ConocoPhillips, Total and Royal Dutch Shell.

South Hook was built in two phases, phase one commenced operations in October 2009 and phase two in April 2010.

It has a nameplate capacity of 15.6 MTPA of LNG and can supply up to 21 billion cubic metres of gas per annum into the UK’s National Transmission System.

The terminal location at Milford Haven is one of the world’s deepest natural harbours formed by the Pembroke Dock and Daugleddau Estuary.

South Hook includes a 1-kilometre jetty which enables LNG ships to berth and for LNG to be transferred into the five tanks at the terminal.

The engineering contractor was Chicago Bridge & Iron Company (CB&I) of the US, later taken over by McDermott Inc.

The first phase contract was worth $750 million for engineering, procurement and construction while phase two awarded back in 2005 was valued at $325M.