Qatar provides up to 5% of Europe’s liquified natural gas (LNG) supply as most of its shipments go to Asian countries.
Qatar is going to require US mediation to persuade its LNG purchasers to reroute some of its gas supplies to Europe in the event of a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine, a source privy to the discussions told Reuters on Wednesday.
“Major Qatari gas customers will need to be persuaded by the US or others to reroute their gas to Europe as a short-term solution,” the source told the news agency.
Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani is scheduled to meet US President Joe Biden on 31 January in Washington, where they are going to discuss “the stability of global energy supplies”.
One source told Reuters that the issue of rerouting LNG supplies will be on the upcoming meeting’s agenda.
This comes amidst talks between Qatar and the US over the former’s ability to provide Europe with LNG, in the case of a Russian invasion of Ukraine. In turn, possible US sanctions imposed on Russia could heavily impact Moscow’s supplies to the nations during the winter season.
Europe receives more than 40% of its gas supply from Russia whilst almost a third of its shipments pass through Ukraine.
“Doha may be able help in case of a major global disruption like it did in 2011 during Fukushima,” the source added, referring to Japan’s nuclear disaster.
The source explained that whilst Qatar can send additional gas to Europe, it would not have much to spare due to the long-term deals it currently has with other buyers.
Qatar provides up to 5% of Europe’s LNG supply as most of its shipments go to Asian countries. It is also moving towards becoming the world’s largest provider of the natural gas by 2030.