The EU not only wants an oil embargo on Russian crude oil, but also to become independent of Russian gas as quickly as possible. Germany is counting on liquefied gas from the USA and Qatar. Economics Minister Habeck returned from his first trip to Qatar full of euphoria and spoke of firm agreements. Just a few days later, however, the Qatari energy minister vigorously contradicted him and wanted to know nothing about a contract being signed. Negotiations with Qatar are obviously continuing, but they seem to be extremely difficult.
Negotiations with Qatar are tough
According to insiders, the negotiations with Qatar are more than tough. Qatar is said to be insisting on contract periods of at least 20 years. A period in which the green ministers have already planned the complete phase-out of gas. After all, according to the will of the traffic light government, Germany should be completely climate-neutral as early as 2045.
The aim is to stop emitting CO₂ from fossil fuel combustion as early as 2035. At least, that’s what the latest cabinet decision by the “traffic light” government envisages. This would mean that by then it would no longer be permitted to use gas for heating or power generation. However, Germany will still need large quantities of gas until then. The only alternative is to replace Russian gas with liquefied gas from the USA and Qatar. However, the USA cannot supply the necessary quantities on its own, and apart from Qatar there are practically no other suppliers.
The initial euphoria seems to have been lost on Economics Minister Habeck for the time being. His ministry has not responded to press inquiries about the status of negotiations. The energy partnership that Robert Habeck reported on after his visit to the Emirate in March still seems a long way off.
Is Habeck’s deal with Qatar now even in danger of falling through?
There is some evidence to suggest that Habeck’s deal may yet fall through. In addition to the long term of the contract, the negotiators from the Emirate are also demanding that gas supplied to Germany must not be forwarded to European countries. This, however, violates the European emergency plan. Beyond that after the desires of the Qatari negotiators the gas price is to be coupled also still to the oil price, while Germany insists on a coupling the European gas index. An expert in the gas trade commented: “Qatar has the levers in its hands. In the end, Germany will have to agree to the terms to secure supply. Meaning a link to the oil price, which will lead to a high financial burden for Germany.”
Even if the deal still goes through, it will be expensive for consumers