Qatar Should Challenge Russia’s LNG Domination in Europe, U.S. Official Says

Qatar, the world’s top liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplier, should challenge Russia’s gas dominance in Europe, a U.S. administration official said on Monday, according to Reuters.

According to Deputy U.S. Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette, Washington has been talking with Doha about supplying Europe with LNG as it wants Germany and other countries to import Qatari and U.S. gas rather than from Russia, which now accounts for 60% of German gas imports.

On Monday, the United States once again warned German companies about possible sanctions over the Nord Stream 2 pipeline under construction which will double Russia’s export capacity to Germany, Europe’s biggest energy consumer, via the Baltic Sea.

Speaking in Doha, Brouillette said he had discussed the issue with Qatar’s Minister of State for Energy Affairs Saad al-Kaabi, who is also CEO of Qatar Petroleum (QP).

“We are talking to Minister Kaabi here about other markets, specifically Europe, to the extent that we can talk to the Qataris about supplying European markets with natural gas,” he said in an interview. “They are very much interested in that and so are we — it’s very connected to deliberations with others we have around Nord Stream 2.”

He said Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline would increase the dependency of Germany and Europe on Russian gas, but that Germany had recently decided to help fund LNG import facilities that could offset that dependence.

Kaabi told Reuters in December that QP is looking to invest at least $20 billion in the U.S. over the coming few years and he expected to make a final decision on its investment in the Golden Pass LNG terminal in Texas soon.

QP is majority owner of the Texas terminal, with Exxon Mobil and ConocoPhillips holding smaller stakes.

“The Qatari investments in the Golden Pass, and in the U.S. export facilities are very important to allow us to get that natural gas to Europe,” Brouillette said.