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Qatar Plays Key Role in Europe's New Energy Strategy

Gulf International Forum: Qatar is a Major Focus of Europe's New Energy Plan

  • Publish date: Thursday، 21 April 2022
Qatar Plays Key Role in Europe's New Energy Strategy

A report by the Gulf International Forum indicated that the State of Qatar is one of the main axes in the new energy plan in the European Union in light of Europe's efforts to get rid of the heavy dependence on Russian energy after the war on Ukraine, Pointing out that in dealing with Qatar, the European Union will need to move away from its dependence on short-term gas contracts, especially since Doha is characterized by its commitment and ability to maintain its energy relations with its partners.

The report highlighted that the final solution to the "energy dilemma" in the European Union does not depend entirely on the current energy deal between Germany and Qatar, and other steps must be taken to secure supplies and open new markets.

Energy Security

The report said, following the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, the world's largest economies collectively imposed several economic sanctions against Russia, in addition to other sectors of the Russian economy, and the energy sector may soon become a target of the sanctions system.

While the United States has already imposed a ban on oil and gas imports from Russia, the situation in the European Union is more complex. However, awareness among the EU leadership and its member states about the dangers of continued dependence on Russian energy has grown significantly.

Doha's role

The Forum report stated that an important step in this direction was taken on March 20, when the German Minister of Economic Affairs Robert Habeck, accompanied by representatives of German companies, met, during his visit to Qatar, His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Emir of the state and His Excellency Eng. Saad Bin Sherida Al Kaabi, Minister of State for Energy Affairs.

The report stated that Germany had concluded a long-term liquefied gas deal with Qatar. As Habeck said after the meeting, “The good news is that gas will be available. Now it is up to the companies to sign contracts.”

Although this statement should reassure observers that energy relations between Germany and Qatar will at least partially replace Russian imports, the main question that must be addressed is: to what extent Qatar will actually be able to replace Moscow as one of the largest exporters of LNG to the European Union.

The report laid out an important set of conditions for dealing with Doha in the energy field:

In dealing with Qatar, the EU would need to move away from its dependence on short-term gas contracts. Doha relies almost entirely on long-term contracts, which provide stability and predictability in its energy relations with the rest of the world. This stability has allowed Doha to invest $28 billion in its north field and has already announced its willingness to increase gas production by more than 60 percent in the next four years. However, Qatar will be reluctant to commit to a radical expansion of trade relations with Europeans in the energy field if reliable and consistent demand cannot be guaranteed.

In the final analysis, it must be said that while Qatar can—and probably will, given the EU's precarious position on energy security and the worsening rift with Russia—become a major factor in the bloc's exit from its increasingly dangerous dependence on Russia, it cannot do it alone or overnight. Therefore, the final solution to the EU's "energy dilemma" does not depend entirely on the current energy deal between Germany and Qatar.

Other steps must be taken to secure its supply, European diplomats, legislators, and energy managers have a long way to go to achieve energy stability.