Qatar signs 27-year gas supply deal with Italy's Eni

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Italian energy company Eni is seen at a gas station in Rome

By Yousef Saba

DUBAI (Reuters) - State-owned QatarEnergy said on Monday it would supply Italy's Eni with gas for 27 years, following similar deals this month to supply the Netherlands via Shell and France through TotalEnergies.

Affiliates of QatarEnergy and Eni signed a long-term sale and purchase agreement for up to 1 million tons per year (mtpa) of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Qatar's North Field expansion project.

LNG will be delivered to the FSRU Italia, a floating storage and regasification unit in Tuscany's port of Piombino from 2026.

Eni has a 3.125% stake in the North Field East expansion that, together with the North Field South expansion, will lift Qatar's liquefaction capacity to 126 mtpa by 2027 from 77 mtpa.

Qatar, already the world's top LNG exporter, in the last two weeks signed 27-year deals to supply 3.5 mtpa from 2026 to Shell and TotalEnergies, its largest and longest European gas supply deals.

Until then, Asia - with an appetite for long-term sale and purchase agreements - had outpaced Europe in locking in supply from QatarEnergy's two-phase LNG output expansion.

Asian deals included 27-year supply to China's Sinopec sealed in November for 4 mtpa and an identical one signed in June with China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC).

European Union buyers are signing long-term deals to replace Russian gas, which had accounted for almost 40% of supply before Moscow's invasion of Ukraine last year.

Germany was the EU's biggest buyer of Russian gas. It will now get 2 mtpa from 2026 through a 15-year deal between QatarEnergy and ConocoPhillips signed in November 2022.

QatarEnergy said Italy already received more than 10% of its natural gas needs from Qatari LNG shipments to the Adriatic terminal.

"Together, we will continue to demonstrate commitment to the European markets in general, and to the Italian market in particular," QatarEnergy chief Saad al-Kaabi said in a statement.

(Reporting by Yousef Saba; Editing by Bernadette Baum, Kirsten Donovan)