BP is taking delivery of six new, state-of-the-art liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers to support its expanding global LNG portfolio, and to respond to growing demand for lower-carbon energy sources around the world.

BP’s finance partners KMarin and ICBC Leasing are investing over $1 billion in the tankers, which will join existing tankers in BP Shipping’s fleet in 2018 and 2019. The vessels will help service a 20-year liquefaction contract with the Freeport LNG facility in Texas, as well as other international LNG projects in BP’s global portfolio.

“These vessels will significantly increase BP’s ability to safely transport LNG to anywhere in the world, directly supporting BP’s global natural gas strategy,” said BP Shipping CEO Susan Dio. “They also will be among the most fuel-efficient and technically advanced LNG tankers ever built.”

Equipped with next-generation engine technology, the new ships are designed to be about 25 percent more fuel efficient than their predecessors. They also will be fitted with a reliquefaction plant, meaning evaporated natural gas in the cargo tanks can be returned to the tanks as LNG, allowing the ships to deliver more LNG to the market.

BP has a long-term contract for 230 Trillion BTUs per year of LNG capacity in the Freeport LNG facility. The Freeport LNG liquefaction facility is under construction, and the first train is expected to be operational by the end of 2018.

BP also participates in LNG projects in Australia, UAE, Indonesia, Trinidad and Angola. This portfolio includes a mix of long-term, mid-term and short-term supply to enable BP to best meet the ever-changing needs of its global portfolio of customers.

“BP has built a diverse LNG portfolio spanning both established and emerging markets,” said Alan Haywood, CEO of BP’s global supply and trading business. “Freeport is the latest example of how BP continues to expand the reach of our LNG business and serve our customers with flexible solutions through leveraging our scale, connectivity and relationships - and another sign of our commitment to remaining at the forefront of this rapidly growing and important global business.”

The 2017 BP Energy Outlook forecasts that global LNG trade will grow seven times faster than pipeline gas trade, such that by 2035 it accounts for around half of all globally traded gas. The newly expanded BP Shipping fleet will deliver LNG volumes to a range of BP customers around the world.

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