Germany signs 15-year gas deal with Qatar
In an effort to find as many alternatives to Russian gas as possible, the German government has just signed a 15-year gas supply deal with Qatar, adding to mixed signals about the relationship between the two countries.
Germany makes gas deal with Qatar
Qatar Energy has announced that the state-owned company has signed a 15-year contract with Germany to supply 2 million tonnes of gas annually. The gas, which will be sold to Qatar by US company ConocoPhilipps, will be imported to one of Germany’s liquid natural gas terminals in Brunsbüttel, a town in Schleswig-Holstein.
Though the move is part of Germany’s attempts to diversify energy suppliers since Putin's invasion of Ukraine, the new Qatari supply will not arrive during this winter. When it does reach northern German shores in 2026, the 2 million tonnes will supply the equivalent of 30 terawatt hours (TWh), which amounts to just 3 percent of the country’s annual consumption. Before the Ukraine war, Russia was providing Germany with an annual supply of 500 TWh.
Vice chancellor Robert Habeck originally travelled to Doha in March to seal the deal, but it was ultimately delayed due to the countries disputing the contract length. On Tuesday, Habeck spoke of the deal at a conference in Berlin: “15 years was great. They look like good conditions to me,” the Green party member said.
Qatar initially proposed that the contract should run for 25 years, while German government ministers were not looking to make such a lasting commitment. One reason for the shorter contract is said to be Germany’s intentions to become carbon neutral by 2045, just four years after the new contract is now set to expire.
German gas deal accused of sending mixed signals
The German-Qatari gas deal has made for more murky waters when it comes to the relationship between the two countries. Just last week, ahead of Germany’s first game in the Qatar World Cup, Habeck condemned the German national team for giving up their plans to wear the OneLove armbands to protest Qatar’s laws against homosexuality. Since the World Cup began the German government has expressed public concerns over Qatar’s labour and human rights abuses.
From the perspective of Qatar, the deal with Germany is one step closer to the Gulf state’s plan to increase its liquid natural gas exports by 60 percent by 2027, when it aims for an annual production of 126 million tonnes.
Back in October Germany’s largest energy company RWE, based in Essen, also issued a 2,43-billion-euro convertible bond to Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, resulting in the Qatar authority claiming a 9,1 percent stake in the German business.
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