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Germany agrees deal with Qatar as it races to replace Russian gas supplies

Saad Sherida al-Kaabi, Qatar's energy minister and CEO of QatarEnergy, and Ryan Lance, CEO of multinational corporation ConocoPhillips - KARIM JAAFAR/AFP
Saad Sherida al-Kaabi, Qatar's energy minister and CEO of QatarEnergy, and Ryan Lance, CEO of multinational corporation ConocoPhillips - KARIM JAAFAR/AFP

Germany has struck a long-term gas deal with Qatar as Europe’s largest economy scrambles to replace lost Russian supplies.

The Persian Gulf State will ship up to two million tons of liquefied natural gas (LNG) per year to Germany for at least 15 years from 2026, under an agreement between state-owned Qatar Energy and the US corporation ConocoPhillips.

Germany bought 50pc of its gas from Russia before the war and urgently needs to find new suppliers to maintain its industrial might and keep families warm.

The deal is equivalent to 2.8bcm of gas annually, replacing about 6pc of German imports from Russia in 2021, according to industry association BDEW.

It comes amid growing competition for Qatari supplies from other economies looking to boost their energy resilience, including the UK.

Germany’s interior minister, Nancy Faeser, was in Qatar last week to watch her country’s first World Cup game, which they lost 2-1 to Japan.

The gas deal was signed on Tuesday by Ryan Lance, the chief executive of ConocoPhillips, and Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, Qatar’s minister for energy affairs.

ConocoPhillips has interests in two of Qatar’s gas fields in a joint venture with QatarEnergy.

Germany is trying to reduce its reliance on gas overall as it tries to slash its carbon emissions to net zero by 2045.

However, Robert Habeck, Germany’s economy minister, told an industry conference on Tuesday that he “wouldn’t be opposed to 20-year or even longer contracts,” for gas supplies.

“The companies should just be aware that the buying side in Germany will become smaller, if we want to keep the climate goals,” he added.

Mr Al-Kaabi said the gas deal was Qatar’s first long-term LNG supply deal to Germany.

“This is a concrete demonstration of QatarEnergy’s resolve to provide reliable energy supplies to all major markets around the world, and of our commitment to the German people,” he said. “Our dialogue with our European partners continues with the aim of achieving greater energy security, long-term market stability, and a smoother energy transition for the benefit of all.”