KUWAIT CITY, Jan. 7 (Xinhua) -- Kuwait and Qatar signed on Sunday a long-term sale and purchase agreement for the annual supply of up to 3 million tons of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) to Kuwait.
The agreement on Kuwait importing LNG from Qatar for 15 years, starting in 2022, will help reduce the expense of electric energy production and pollutants, according to Kuwaiti experts.
Kuwait, which is rich in oil but falls short in gas production, imports natural gas for power generation and petrochemical industry.
Experts expect a high consumption of electricity in Kuwait during the upcoming years given the rapid growth in the number of industrial projects, especially if Kuwait starts implementing the Silk City project.
Kuwait needs to focus on guaranteeing the supply of natural gas to meet its growing needs, Talal Al-Seif, a Kuwaiti oil expert, told Xinhua in a recent interview.
Kuwait is moving toward clean energy away from burning oil to generate energy which creates high residues and pollutants, he said, noting natural gas burns 100 percent.
Kuwait burns between 250,000 to 300,000 barrels of oil per day to generate energy, approximately equal to a cost of 18 million U.S. dollars a day, according to Al-Seif.
"I expect to save between 8 to 9 million dollars a day if using natural gas," he noted.
"We have an opportunity to save money and live in a better environment and to make better usage of the burned oil," the Kuwaiti expert concluded.
Abdul Hamid Al-Awadi, an oil expert, also said the agreement will bring many benefits given that Qatar is not far from Kuwait.
Kuwait suffers from a severe shortage in the production of gas but with the availability of Qatari gas, Kuwait will be able to produce electricity, desalinate seawater, improve the environment and reduce pollutants, Al-Awadi noted.
The use of natural gas will raise the efficiency of generators in power stations, while the cost of maintaining them will decrease, he said.
The agreement will allow Kuwait to save between 20 to 30 percent of the costs, Al-Awadi added.
For the oil analyst Kamel Al-Harami, Kuwait needs huge quantities of gas and the agreement is important in terms of Kuwait's efforts to enhance Gulf cooperation.
Importing gas from Qatar is a solution to the Gulf cooperation in a certain degree, said Al-Harami, noting the gas can be exported to Bahrain and Saudi Arabia later through a pipeline instead of by sea.