Qatar LNG May Find Its Way to Germany

Discussions on long-term LNG supplies from Qatar to Germany to re-engage after years of uncertainty held up potential deals.

Germany is said to be fast-tracking a pair of LNG terminals after years of debating their necessity.

Qatar will work with Germany on the delivery of future LNG supplies as the European nation looks to reduce its dependence on Russian energy. German Economy Minister Robert Habeck said during talks in Doha on Sunday his government plans to fast-track the construction of two LNG import terminals, QatarEnergy said in a statement without giving specifics. Today, Germany has no LNG terminals of its own after years of debating whether they were necessary.

“QatarEnergy has been discussing the supply of Qatari LNG to Germany for a number of years with German companies,” the statement read. “However, until recently, such discussions did not materialize into definitive agreements due to the lack of clarity on the long-term role of gas in Germany’s energy mix and the requisite LNG import infrastructure.”

At a meeting in Doha between Habeck and Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, minister of state for energy affairs and the president and chief executive of QatarEnergy, the two sides agreed that their respective commercial entities would re-engage and progress discussions on long-term LNG supplies from Qatar to Germany.

“Now it’s up to companies to sign the contracts,” Habeck said via Twitter.

Saad al-Kaabi said in February that his country’s LNG volumes are committed in long-term contracts mostly to Asian buyers, adding that only 10–15% of the volumes are divertible to Europe.

Deals like this are crucial to diversifying Germany’s energy suppliers but do little in the short term to ween it further off Russian-supplied gas. The country gets more than half of its imported natural gas from Russia.

Habeck also visited the UAE, one of the world’s biggest oil exporters, to not only talk about diversifying Germany’s hydrocarbon supplies, but also speak to the energy transition and green hydrogen. Germany is already speaking with Norway about the potential of a newbuild hydrogen pipeline to further reduce Europe’s dependence on Russian energy.