Tamim: It’s almost impossible for Qatar to replace Russian gas

Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani speaks during the Doha Forum, in Doha, Qatar March 26, 2022. REUTERS/Ibraheem Al Omari/File Photo

Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, confirmed that Doha cannot replace Russian gas given the fact that it is an important source for the global market, noting that his country will supply Europe with gas.

In an interview with France’s Le Point newspaper, Al-Thani said: “We want to help European countries and will supply them with gas in the coming years, but those who think that we can replace Russian gas are mistaken, because it is an important source for the global market.”

When asked if he thinks that gas and liquified natural gas specifically will maintain its pivotal role in the international energy market, the Qatari Emir responded: “Gas will play a very important role in the transitional period and in the diversification of energy sources in the long term, as it is a source of clean energy: For example, we have invested huge amounts of money in technology that captures carbon and reduces flaring. And we must not forget that we are talking about our problems, while there are a billion people in the world today who do not have access to electricity.”

“We have taken risks and invested in the gas sector since the eighties and nineties of the last century, knowing that it is a source of energy that will be of great importance in the future,” he added.

“We repeated the same thing a few years ago by increasing our production of liquefied natural gas, although the global trend at that time was towards eliminating these sources and focusing on energy sources that are considered ‘clean’ such as solar and wind energy. But I assure you that gas is also a source of clean energy, and it is very important for the upcoming transitional period. The war in Europe complicates matters in an unprecedented way, but the problem was already there.”

Al-Thani stressed that Qatar mainly exports energy to Asian countries and to Europe based on long-term agreements.

When asked about Europe’s sanctions on the Russian energy sector, Sheikh Tamim said: “We have to tread carefully with sanctions that complicate matters for the whole world.”

“In this particular case, I cannot assess the correctness of the European decision or not, but we all see the problems caused by the lack of energy supplies on the European continent today. The most important thing is that we are all suffering from the status quo, both on the energy level and on the nutritional level, and for this reason, the war in Ukraine must end, and we must find a solution.”

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