According to people familiar with the matter, US officials are talking about the possibility of a supply of liquefied natural gas from Qatar to Europe if the shortage is caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The Qatari Embassy in Washington has not yet commented on the matter.
President Joe Biden plans to ask the Gulf nation’s emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, to visit the White House, possibly later this month, two people said on Friday. A White House official said Friday night that the meeting between Biden and the Amir has been going on for some time.
Some European countries have expressed fears that punishing Russia with harsh sanctions over the Ukraine crisis could hurt their economies and prompt Russian President Vladimir Putin to cut or reduce gas supplies in the dead of winter. could.
Europe gets more than 40% of its natural gas from Russia, and about a third of the Russian gas that flows into Europe passes through Ukraine.
40% of the natural gas consumed in Europe comes from Russia
Qatar is one of the world’s largest producers of liquefied natural gas, with about three-quarters of its fuel sold to energy-poor Asian countries such as Japan and Korea. Emirates provides about 5% of Europe’s natural gas, where countries such as Lithuania or Poland are required to switch to this fuel to avoid the gas pipeline policy involved in buying gas from Russia.
US officials want to help ease Europeans’ concerns about how they will heat their homes this winter, according to people familiar with the private conversation who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The United States is increasing pressure on Europeans to agree to a sanctions package, despite weeks of talks showing signs of dismay at the pace of talks with and within the EU.
Putin denies that he plans to invade Ukraine, but demands concessions from NATO and security guarantees that the military alliance says it cannot provide.
Europe’s natural gas reserves are low as the continent faces a supply crunch. Moscow’s increased advantage over its neighbors became apparent last winter, an unusually cold and long winter that depleted Europe’s gas inventories just as their economies were emerging from a pandemic-induced recession. In the summer, Russian state-controlled Gazprom PJSC began to limit flows into the mainland, increasing the shortage.
Brian Deez, director of the White House National Economic Council, said the administration is working with partners to increase the supply of fuel in Europe.
“In the very immediate term, how can we make sure that European countries have adequate access to natural gas during the winter months, but also to relieve pressure in the spring,” he said. Dees said at a news conference on Thursday. Interview with Bloomberg Television.
“And in particular, this means working with our allies and partners, especially gas-producing countries, to understand what additional capacity exists and how we can move and transfer that capacity to the region. can expand.”
Dees said Thursday that the US doesn’t have much to send. “With respect to natural gas, our export potential, we are close to the maximum export potential. So we can work primarily with collaborators and try to identify and organize ways to move more product from other avenues.”
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