Germany announces energy partnership with Qatar
Germany has entered in a long-term energy partnership with Qatar, as Europe’s biggest economy seeks to become less dependent on Russian energy supplies following the invasion of Ukraine.
The deal follows Economy Minister Robert Habeck touring Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, as he seeks to boost Germany’s non-Russian liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplies.
He has held talks in recent days Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani – with both parties discussing ways to enhance bilateral relations, particularly in the energy sector.
Around 20 representatives from the German energy sector also accompanied Habeck on the trip.
The terms of the arrangement have not been finalised, but the prospect of LNG from Qatar ramps up Germany’s already announced plans to cut down its reliance on Russian fossil fuels.
Russia is currently the largest supplier of natural gas to Germany – responsible for half its imports – however Chancellor Olaf Scholz has already taken the bold step of suspending the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.
It is also ramping up domestic liquefied natural gas (LNG) capacity and slowing the country’s exit from coal, alongside proposed EU requirements for member nations to maintain gas storage at 90 per cent ahead of next winter.
A spokesperson for the German Economic Ministry told Reuters: “The companies that have come to Qatar with (Habeck) will now enter into contract negotiations with the Qatari side.”
Meanwhile, Bulgaria has revealed it will not hold further talks with Gazprom to renew its natural gas purchase deal amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Deputy Prime Minister Assen Vassilev revealed yesterday the country will look for alternative suppliers once its 10-year deal concludes at the end of this year. .
The EU nation meets almost all of its gas needs with Russian supplies.
Vassilev told public BNR radio: “In this situation, there cannot be talks with Gazprom. There are alternatives. This is not just Bulgaria, this is a common European strategy.”