Qatar Says Talks with Germany on LNG Contracts Ongoing
Qatar and Germany are continuing to discuss supplies of natural gas, as Europe tries to reduce its dependency on Russia for the fuel.
“There are negotiations taking place between Qatar Energy and commercial entities in Germany,” Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed Bin Abdulrahaman said in an interview with Bloomberg Television in New York. It’s not clear yet when state-controlled Qatar Energy and German companies will sign contracts, he said.
Qatar is one of the world’s biggest exporters of liquefied natural gas. Demand and prices have soared since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, with Moscow retaliating against sanctions by cutting piped-gas flows to Europe.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is scheduled to travel to Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates this weekend. He will talk to leaders in the countries about shipments of gas and hydrogen.
Qatar and international energy companies including Shell Plc and Exxon Mobil Corp. are investing billions of dollars to increase the Persian Gulf state’s LNG capacity by almost 65%. But the projects aren’t set to be completed until 2027 and Qatar is currently all but maxed out on production.
German utilities RWE AG and Uniper SE are making progress on negotiations with Qatar, Reuters reported this week. Bloomberg has previously reported that the talks were complicated by Qatar wanting to sign longer-term agreements than Germany, which wants to wean itself off gas and other fossils eventually as part of the energy transition.
On Iran’s nuclear deal negotiations with world powers, where Qatar has sought to mediate, Abdulrahaman said recent statements had not yielded much optimism.
“In the last couple of weeks we are hearing some statements which are not so optimistic about reaching a deal,” he said.
But Qatar had engaged with all parties in the negotiations in recent days and “we have heard positive intentions from them,” he said. “I believe that when the parties get together and they can find a common ground for these areas of disagreement, they can reach a deal.”
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