Nakilat Shipping Qatar Limited (NQSL) has signed an agreement with Shell International Trading and Shipping to begin the planned phased transition of the management of Nakilat’s liquified natural gas (LNG) fleet from Shell to NSQL, reported Trade Arabia.

The vessels will be transitioned in three phases starting this year and shall be managed by Nakilat’s in-house ship management arm, NSQL, which currently manages four large liquified petroleum gas (LPG) carriers and four Q-Flex LNG carriers, according to Gulf Times.

This will be the world’s largest transition of an LNG fleet operation. The 25 vessels have so far delivered over 320mcm of Qatar’s LNG to over 20 countries and have travelled 17m nautical miles- the equivalent of over 780 trips around the equator’s circumference. Nakilat has carried out extensive studies and comprehensive preparations and planning to ensure the successful management of these essential assets to Qatar’s gas supply chain from Qatar to the world, which plays a major role in the national economic growth.

Shell has provided a range of shipping services to Nakilat’s LNG fleet since it was established in 2006. These included the ship management of 14 Q-Max and 11 Q-Flex LNG carriers and the sharing of Shell’s shipping and maritime expertise.