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Purchase of Qatar LNG not off the table, says German Chancellor

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on October 21, 2022 [Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency]
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on October 21, 2022 [Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency]

The purchase of Qatari liquefied natural gas (LNG) is not off the table as there are ongoing talks in Qatar on an agreement, German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, said on Friday, Anadolu News Agency reports.

"German companies are in very concrete talks," Scholz told the Munich-based Focus news magazine, but declined to give any further details.

Germany is trying to replace missing gas supplies from Russia, among other things, with LNG supplies, for which several terminals are being built on the North and Baltic Seas.

Qatar, which has recently signed a long-term gas deal with China, has the third largest gas reserves in the world after Russia and Iran, and is the leading LNG exporter.

Talks between Germany and Qatar about long-term LNG deals had been overshadowed by differences over key conditions, such as contract length and pricing, as Berlin is looking to replace Russia which used to be its biggest gas supplier before the war started in Ukraine in February.

READ: QatarEnergy expanding in LNG, will not divert supplies to Europe

Meanwhile, Scholz rejected fracking as a method for extracting domestic natural gas.

"Fracking makes little sense for us and has been discussed and rejected several times in Germany," said the Chancellor, while pointing out that investors also showed little interest in the deal.

Referring to government plans to phase out the use of fossil resources by 2045, he said: "We should focus our efforts on importing hydrogen and producing it here in Germany by electrolysis."

Germany is facing a severe energy crisis due to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, which led to disruptions in the gas supply and pushed energy prices to record highs.

The government is seeking to diversify natural gas supply sources, and currently work is underway to build liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals at the northern German ports of Brunsbuttel, Wilhelmshaven, Stade, and Lubmin.

Before the start of the war in Ukraine, Russia was supplying 55 per cent of Germany's natural gas.

READ: Shell to sign deal with Qatar on $29bn gas project

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