Qatar Petroleum’s Wave LNG Solutions and Shell Gas & Power Developments B.V. (Shell) signed a framework agreement to develop liquefied natural gas (LNG) marine fueling – or bunkering – infrastructure at strategic shipping locations across the globe.

LNG bunkering provides the shipping industry with a new fuel that helps meet the industry’s environmental and economic objectives. Increasing numbers of ship owners and operators are turning to LNG over traditional marine fuels in response to tighter sulfur and nitrogen oxide emissions regulations. In October 2016, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) announced the introduction of a global 0.5% sulfur cap from 2020.

Commenting on the occasion, Mr. Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, Qatar Petroleum’s President and CEO, said: “We are pleased to team up with our long-term partner and industry pioneer, Shell, on this important initiative. We view LNG bunkering as a promising opportunity for LNG to further grow as a clean energy source.”

Mr. Al-Kaabi added: “LNG demand for bunkering is expected to increase significantly over the coming years and we believe there is real potential for such demand to reach up to 50 million tons per annum by 2030. Obviously, achieving this figure requires focused investments and the right partnership model, similar to the one we are establishing today.”

On his part, Mr. Ben van Beurden, Shell’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “As two of the world’s leading LNG suppliers, Shell and Qatar Petroleum have the capability and experience to deliver LNG as a marine fuel to ship owners and operators who must meet tougher emissions regulations from 2020. We look forward to working with Qatar Petroleum to increase the availability of LNG as a fuel for transport.”

Tuesday’s agreement follows two Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) Shell and Qatargas signed with industry partners in 2016 to explore LNG bunkering opportunities in the Middle East. Pursuant to the agreement signed today, Qatar Petroleum and Shell will evaluate and progress the development of LNG bunkering facilities at various locations across Europe, the Middle East and East Asia.