Both Economics Minister Robert Habeck and Chancellor Olaf Scholz had been negotiating a gas deal with Qatar in recent months. In the meantime he seemed to have failed. Now the Department of Energy is suddenly announcing a closed deal.

According to Qatar’s Energy Minister Saad Sharida al-Kaabi, the energy giant Qatar Energy has concluded an agreement on liquid gas deliveries to Germany. The gas is to be sold to the US company Conoco Phillips, which will deliver it to Brunsbüttel, the minister said on Tuesday at the signing of the contract in the Qatari capital Doha. Delivery is scheduled to begin in 2026 and run for at least 15 years. Up to 2 million tons are to be delivered annually.

However, the Qataris will not sell their gas directly to the operator of the liquid gas terminal in Brunsbüttel. The American energy company ConocoPhillips is used as an intermediary.

The German Economics Minister Robert Habeck said at a press conference for the 2022 Industry Conference: “I can’t say much concretely because it is the task of the companies involved to conclude these contracts and say something about them.” The tasks of the companies are that to buy gas as cheaply as possible for consumers on the world market.

Qatar Energy is also in talks with German companies about further gas deliveries, Al-Kaabi explained. “We have good relations with German companies and with the German government,” he said. He sees an “obligation for the German population”. The gas for the agreement that has now been concluded comes from the two Qatari gas fields North Field East and North Field South, which lie off the coast of the Gulf state.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) only said last week that the purchase of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in Qatar was not off the table. “German companies are in very concrete talks about which I could tell you more than I will,” said Scholz in a “Focus” interview.

Germany is trying to replace missing gas supplies from Russia, among other things, with LNG supplies, for which several terminals are being built on the North and Baltic Seas.

The emirate and China recently signed a long-term gas agreement. The producer Qatar Energy wants to deliver a total of 108 million tons of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to the Chinese group Sinopec over 27 years. Minister Al-Kaabi said it was the longest gas supply contract in the history of the liquid gas industry.

The first German LNG terminals are about to start operations. The gas storage facilities are currently almost full. But liquefied natural gas should make an additional contribution, Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck (Greens) speaks of a “central building block for securing our energy supply in the coming winter”.

So far, Germany and other European countries have received the LNG received via the Netherlands, Belgium or France primarily from the USA. On a trip in the spring, Habeck tried to establish supply relationships with Qatar. The emirate reportedly wants long-term contracts. Other important LNG exporting countries are Australia, Malaysia and Nigeria.