Qatar Energy Minister: EU countries have no experience in LNG and no plan to combat the energy crisis

By Romegas

Much of the blame for high energy prices lies with European governments. This was stated by the Minister of Energy of Qatar, Saad al-Kaabi.

They (European governments) don’t have a plan,” Saad al-Kaabi told the Energy Intelligence Forum in London. His words were quoted by Bloomberg columnist Javier Blas. 

He reiterated that most of the blame for high energy prices and the complete destruction of a sound European energy policy lies with the so-called green policy imposed by the EU on member states despite market and technological realities. He further stated, that now faced with an emergency of their own making, the same European countries have been trying to buy LNG in a hurry.

Your governments do not have the experience, the tools and the companies to do this,”

The German government had visited Qatar several times, but never agreed on the supply of liquefied gas. A recent example is the visit of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to Doha. The business media reported that Berlin wanted low gas prices and short contract terms. Qatar, in turn, insists on long-term agreements and a ban on LNG re-export.

The buyer wants supply stability, and the seller wants a buyer who is stable and can buy in the long run. But the fundamental problem in Europe, in my opinion, is that governments talk about buying more gas, but they can’t because most European countries don’t have the funds to buy gas. Most LNG purchases are made through private companies. It is the private sector that buys. That’s where the inconsistency lies. Is the government going to intervene? I’m not sure. I think 10-15 year deals are probably the most acceptable for both parties. But for us, the long-term deal is not only in duration, but also in price, ”the Qatari minister told Energy Intelligence. 

He added that he has grave doubts that Europe can survive without Russian gas.

I hope that, at some point, there will be an end to the crisis that will bring peace to Europe and hopefully return some of the Russian gas to support Europe. If you look at the situation, it will be very difficult for Europe to withstand zero supplies of Russian gas for more than two winters, ..”.

Many countries and companies have approached us, and I consistently said the same thing: Europe has always depended on Russia as the main supplier for pipelines.  Much of Europe, especially the north, was not prepared to import LNG. Now, of course, the situation has changed. You see that Germany is moving from no LNG terminals to four or five terminals. And other European countries are trying to follow a similar approach. The Europeans were really trying to fill the storage capacity. Stocks will help. But if there is a very strong winter, there might be a problem – maybe not in the winter, but when you have to replenish supplies for the next winter. There will be some LNG coming from the US and other places. We have committed ourselves not to remove anything from Europe and not divert any volumes. But, in the end, this is a small volume compared to the huge volume that comes from Russia.

On the same day as the speech given by the Minister of Energy of Qatar, in an interview with the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung, the Minister of Economy of Germany, Robert Habeck accused several countries of setting excessive prices for natural gas, including the US – as if they owed us a living.

He lamented that the United States profited from Europe as oil prices skyrocketed, and the sanctions that Europe imposed to its own detriment. He stated he expected much more solidarity given that the national oil reserves in Europe were also used. 

One can rightly expect more from a minister of the economy of the leading country in the EU – and if, for being a philosopher by trade he can be forgiven for not understanding how an industrialized economy works he can’t be for being so naive in his expectations that nations should have friends, instead of interests.

Can it truly be that he and his ilk cannot comprehend that it will be the US that will benefit from Europe’s deindustrialization? By ensuring Europe’s collapse not only do they remove a global competitor but also get to pick up the pieces for next to nothing.

It seems that Europe would be better off if it was headed by Arab technocrats than ideological greens – we would at least be ruled by pragmatic people and stand a chance to survive.

With the likes of Habeck, we do not.

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