According to three sources with knowledge of the situation, German utilities RWE and Uniper are close to finalizing long-term agreements to purchase LNG from Qatar’s North Field Expansion project to help replace Russian gas, Reuters reported.
Differences in important terms, such as contract length and price, have complicated negotiations between Germany and Qatar, but according to unnamed industry sources, the parties are soon likely to come to an agreement.
By as early as mid-2024, Germany, the largest economy in Europe, hopes to completely replace all Russian energy imports, which will be a herculean task for a nation that primarily depends on natural gas to power its industrial sector.
Even while supply agreements with Qatar would be advantageous for Germany, they would not provide a quick fix for Berlin’s energy needs because the massive North Field Expansion project is not anticipated to start operating until 2026.
One of the sources said the talks were now more constructive than a few months ago. Another source said the utilities were likely to agree on 15-year deals, while a third source said a deal could be reached within weeks.
Qatar Energy did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Uniper told Reuters that it was still in negotiations with Qatar but had not yet achieved an agreement. “Uniper is currently working hard to diversify its sources of gas supply. Qatar also plays an important role in this,” it said.
RWE told Reuters it was in “good and constructive” talks with Qatar, without being more specific.