Qatar can divert ten to 15 per cent of its gas exports to customers different from those who had initially contracted the sale, Minister of State for Energy Saad Al-Kaabi said today, Reuters reports.
Some of the gas volumes already committed to the United Kingdom can be diverted, he said, addressing a news conference in Doha at the end of a gas exporting countries’ summit.
The majority of the gas volumes exported by Qatar are already tied up with long-term contracts, he added.
The US had previously looked to Qatar to help ease any gas shortages in Europe should Russian supplies be affected by a possible war in Ukraine.
Europe has seen gas prices rise dramatically over recent months triggering a crisis in the cost of living. The fallout from an invasion of Ukraine by Moscow is sure to exacerbate the crisis. With Russia being western Europe’s largest single supplier of gas, the US and its allies in Europe have very few options to apply leverage over Moscow. Europe’s reliance on Russian gas has also complicated efforts to present a united front against Moscow’s threats.
Qatar is seen as a genuine alternative for the Europeans to replace Russia as the world’s largest producer of liquefied gas (LNG). Over time it may be able to wean Europe off Russian gas.