From left: NextDecade Chairman and CEO Matthew Schatzman, Aramco Upstream President Nasir K. Al-Naimi, and Aramco EVP of Gas Abdulkarim Al-Ghamdi. Image Credit: Supplied

US liquefied natural gas (LNG) provider NextDecade has signed a non-binding agreement with Saudi Aramco to supply 1.2 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) of LNG for 20 years, the companies said on Thursday.

The deal comes at a time when Aramco is seeking to strengthen its position in the LNG market, which is set to grow globally by 50 per cent by 2030, especially in the United States, where LNG capacity is set to almost double over the next four years.

Aramco said the deal was part of its efforts to expand its 'presence in international energy markets.' Under the terms, LNG will be supplied from the fourth liquefaction train at NextDecade's Rio Grande LNG Facility at the Port of Brownsville, Texas, USA.

Earlier this month, Reuters reported that Aramco was in talks with NextDecade, as well as US firm Tellurian on two separate liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects as the Saudi firm seeks to boost its gas trading and production.

Aramco and NextDecade said they were in the process of negotiating a binding agreement, effective subject to a positive final investment decision on Train 4, which NextDecade said it expects in the second half of 2024.

In May, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) said it had acquired 11.7 per cent stake in phase 1 of NextDecade's LNG project, which included the first three liquefaction trains, and agreed to a 20-year supply agreement for the fourth train.