Qatari Minister Warns of Impending Oil and Gas Shortage in Europe


Shafaq News/ During the Qatar Economic Forum, Saad bin Sherida Al-Kaabi, the Qatari Minister of State for Energy Affairs, expected that Europe would face a "worst oil and gas shortage."

He acknowledged that the relatively mild winter season had spared the continent from more significant difficulties in recent months.

Al-Kaabi emphasized the looming energy crisis and the need for Europe to recognize the situation, engage in dialogue with producers, and refrain from demonizing oil and gas companies.

The Russian-Ukraine conflict exacerbated the energy crisis, which resulted in Russia reducing its supplies to European countries.

To mitigate dependence on Russian oil and gas, European nations have sought to diversify their energy sources. However, the milder winter weather helped alleviate some of the strain.

Following the Russian invasion in February 2022, the United States and Europe imposed economic and financial sanctions on Russia. Disputes arose over the currency used for Russian gas, with Moscow insisting on the ruble.

The situation escalated when Russia cut off gas supplies via the main direct pipeline to Germany during the summer, triggering an energy crisis across Europe.

Before the conflict, Russia supplied 40% of the European Union's gas, primarily through pipelines. Developing alternative pipeline networks to receive gas from neighboring countries will take time. In the short term, liquefied natural gas (LNG) has become the primary alternative, albeit at a higher price.

Europe has turned to purchasing LNG from distant producing countries.

Qatar, as the second-largest supplier of LNG to the European Union after the United States and ahead of Russia, delivered 16% of its LNG supplies to the EU in the first ten months of 2022. However, it faces significant competition from American gas in the European market.

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