DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Qatar is to supply liquefied natural gas to Germany under a 15-year deal signed Tuesday as the European economic powerhouse scrambles to replace Russian gas supplies that have been cut during the ongoing war in Ukraine.
Officials gave no dollar value for the deal, which would begin in 2026. Under the agreement, Qatar would send up to 2 million tons of the gas to Germany through an under-construction terminal at Brunsbuettel.
The deal involves both Qatar Energy, the nation’s state-run firm, and ConocoPhillips, which has stakes in Qatar’s offshore natural gas field in the Persian Gulf that it shares with Iran.
As European countries have supported Ukraine after Russia’s invasion in February, Moscow has slashed supplies of natural gas used to heat homes, generate electricity and power industry. That has created an energy crisis that is fueling inflation and increasing pressure on companies as prices have risen.
Germany, which got more than half its gas from Russia before the war, hasn’t received any gas from Russia since the end of August.
The country is building five liquefied natural gas terminals as a key part of its plan to replace Russian supplies, and the first are expected to go into service shortly. Much of Germany’s current gas supply comes from or via Norway, the Netherlands and Belgium.
Germany’s drive to prevent a short-term energy crunch also includes temporarily reactivating old oil- and coal-fired power stations and extending the life of the country’s last three nuclear power plants, which were supposed to be switched off at the end of this year, until mid-April.
German Economy Minister Robert Habeck, who is also responsible for energy, visited Qatar in March — about a month after Russia invaded Ukraine — as part of the government’s effort to diversify gas supplies. Chancellor Olaf Scholz was there in September.
Habeck said Tuesday he wouldn’t say much about the deal because “the political talks were always only framework talks; the companies remained in contact after that.”