The US is putting pressure on Europe to replace Russian gas with gas from other countries but there is no way Europe can immediately end Russia’s gas flow.
However, a ban on Russian gas will not make economic sense for certain European nations, and there may not be enough gas supply to support a boycott on Russian gas.
Qatar has warned that it would be unable to replace the supply of Russian gas into Europe.
According to Qatar’s energy minister, Russia supplies 30-40% of Europe’s gas, which “no one country” can replace.
The US has apparently approached Qatar about re-routing liquefied natural gas supplies to Europe in the event that Russian gas flows were disrupted by sanctions.
In the case of an interruption due to a confrontation between Russia and Ukraine, neither Qatar nor any other single nation has the ability to replace Russian gas supplies to Europe with liquefied natural gas (LNG), Qatar’s energy minister said on Tuesday.
One reason why a sanction against Russian gas may not work immediately is the majority of the LNG is connected to long-term contracts with specific destinations.
It is therefore nearly difficult to replenish that quantity of volume in such a short period of time, says the Qatar minister.
The US expects Qatar, one of the world’s largest LNG producers, to reroute gas supplies to Europe in the event that Russia strikes Ukraine and the US puts sanctions on Moscow.
Qatar has long-term contracts for the majority of its volumes, particularly with Asian clients, although it also ships cargoes to Europe.
Germany purchased 119 billion cubic metres of gas from January to October 2021, according to the foreign trade statistics bureau BAFA.
However, it does not disclose the origins of imports, though Russia’s share of Germany’s gas supply is pegged at half of the nation’s consumption.
Russia’s Gazprom owns a storage company in Germany, Astora owns a company called Rehden which in turn holds a fifth of the country’s 24 billion cubic metres of gas in storage.
According to data from the industry association Gas Infrastructure Europe, Germany’s storage caverns are presently 31% filled.
Despite intense pressure from the US and certain European countries, Berlin has long refused to cut Russian gas off. However, in January, it decided to freeze the construction of a new pipeline, the Nordstream 2.
For years, Washington has argued against this new pipeline. It says a new pipeline carrying natural gas from Russia to Germany, particularly one that avoids Ukraine, increases Europe’s reliance on Russian energy supplies.
Nevertheless, Anwar has said he plans to introduce a programme that will include targeted subsidies…