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AA 02/12/15: Turkey, Qatar sign MoE for long term LNG trade

BOTAS, Qatar's national oil company sign memorandum of understanding for long term liquified natural gas trade on Wednesday.

DOHA, Qatar

Turkey's Petroleum Pipeline Corporation (BOTAS) and Qatar's national oil company signed a memorandum of understanding for long term liquified natural gas (LNG) trade on Wednesday.

According to Turkey's Energy and Natural Resources Ministry, both parties signed the memorandum in order to provide regular and long term LNG trade to Turkey.

Turkey's total LNG consumption is 55 bililon cubic meters. The country imports 8.4 percent of its LNG from Algeria and 2.8 percent from Nigeria.

The amount of LNG to be traded is not specified at present and the details will be stated in the long term agreement. Parties are due to prepare the details of the long term agreement at a later date.

Qatar led the world once again last year in LNG exports, according to 2015 World LNG Report published Tuesday by the International Gas Union.

For the ninth year in a row, Qatar became the largest LNG exporter in the world with 76.8 million tons of LNG in 2014.

Qatar's LNG exports also constituted around one-third of the total 241.1 million tons of LNG supplies in 2014, the report said.

The share of Qatar’s LNG exports to Asia is near 70 percent. Japan, India, South Korea and China are among the main importers of Qatar’s LNG.

Visa-free agreement

Turkey and Qatar have signed a visa-free travel agreement, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced Wednesday.

"From now on, visas between Turkey and Qatar have been removed," Erdogan told reporters in the gulf state, adding that people from both countries will now be able to visit each other much more easily.

The Turkish president said that the visa-free agreement was a "last second" decision, for which he thanked the Qatari Emir, "my dear brother Sheikh Tamim [bin Hamad al-Thani]".

Erdogan and al-Thani also chaired the Turkey-Qatar High Strategic Committee’s first meeting in the Qatari capital of Doha during which 15 bilateral agreements were signed. Erdogan said that the visa-free agreement was the 16th agreement between the two countries.

Turkey and Qatar agreed to cooperate in several sectors, including education, environment, science and technology, maritime and energy.

Before the committee meeting, Erdogan noted that the Turkey-Qatar cultural year had been successfully carried out. "We will maintain good relations in the coming years.

"Also, Turkish and Qatari armies conducted their first joint military drill. Some of our soldiers, who will be deployed at a military base to be established in Qatar, have started their duties," he added.

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