Qatar holds out for better terms from Japan

By James Gavin 8 June 2017
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An LNG tanker approaches Ras Laffan, Qatar. The country has moved to reassure its Japanese customers. (Statoil) An LNG tanker approaches Ras Laffan, Qatar. The country has moved to reassure its Japanese customers. (Statoil)

Qatar Petroleum (QP) has moved quickly to inform Jera, its biggest Japanese LNG buyer, that Qatari supplies will not be interrupted by the escalation of tensions in the Gulf. But QP’s message to Jera had as much to do with the long-standing battle between Doha and Tokyo over LNG contract terms as reassuring its largest Asian customer.

As tensions between QP and Jera have mounted, undiplomatic language has replaced the placid phrases typical of most LNG supplier-customer relationships.

With a number of its LNG contracts coming up for renewal, Jera has signalled its unhappiness that, as one of Qatar’s foundation customers, the company is paying a higher price than emerging buyers such as Pakistan.

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