MILAN, Italy, Jan. 11 (UPI) -- Italian energy company Eni said Friday it signed an agreement with Japanese and South Korean energy companies for shipments of liquefied natural gas.
In the first joint purchase contract of its kind, Eni said it would ship as many as 1.7 million tons of LNG, or 28 cargoes, under the terms of a four-year agreement with Korea Gas Corp. and Japan's Chubu Electric Power Co.
Eni said it would determine which party gets the LNG shipments depending on allocation needs.
Seoul expects LNG demand to be close to 40 million metric tons by 2015, reports the Platts news service. Korea Gas Corp. executives said in a New Year's message that the country may need a new LNG terminal to cope with an expected influx of natural gas supplies.
Last year, Eni reached a deal to sell 3.3 million tons of LNG, or 49 cargoes, to the Japanese market. Japan has been taking on more natural gas supplies to cope with an energy production deficit brought on by the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in 2011.
Eni said the agreement strengthens its LNG footprint in the region.