“A Scramble for Gas: Qatari LNG and EU Diversification Plans”, Pier Paolo Raimondi (IAI, Italy)

Amidst a worsening geopolitical and energy crisis in Europe, the EU is scrambling to increase liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports as one component of its larger objective to reduce its overdependence on Russian gas. In 2021, the EU imported 155 billion cubic metres (bcm) of natural gas from Russia (140 bcm via pipeline and 15 bcm of LNG). Under its REPowerEU initiative, the European Commission aims to increase LNG imports to replace 50 bcm of Russian gas by the end of 2022. In this quest for energy diversification, the state of Qatar has emerged as a key pillar of the EU’s strategy. In 2021, Qatar provided for 24 per cent of Europe’s total LNG imports, behind the US (26 per cent) and before Russia (20 per cent). In 2021, total EU LNG imports reached 77 bcm; the figure increases to 108 bcm if the UK and Turkey are added. Recently, the EU, along with the US, has extensively engaged Qatar given its leading role in the LNG market and close relations with the West.

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