HE the Minister of State for Energy Affairs Eng Saad bin Sherida al-Kaabi said that Qatar could not help immediately and no one could replace the Russian supplies.
He also ruled out that the Ukrainian crisis will fundamentally change the ways to pay for oil and gas costs in the long term.
Speaking in a plenary session titled "Energy Transition and Security: Meeting Demand in a Volatile World" held in the framework of Doha Forum 2022 Saturday, HE al-Kaabi underlined that it is not possible to replace the Russian gas at the present time, especially since supplies coming from Russia range from 30 to 40% and that gas projects require many years to enter production.
He added that Qatar has been working to pump more gas supplies into Europe through its stations located in France, Italy and the United Kingdom, but the quantities will remain small compared to the needs of Europe.
"We are working to increase the quantities of gas to Europe, whether by increasing the capacity of the stations or by shipping additional quantities from Qatar," he added.
He noted that the agreement to supply Europe with an additional 15bn cu m from the United States and other countries requires co-operation between all parties to implement it, stressing that Qatar plays a key role in securing liquefied natural gas for Europe.
He explained that Qatar is co-operating with the United States to send 70mn tonnes of gas to Europe by 2024 and 2025, noting that Qatar has contracts with many countries to supply it with gas, and 85% of gas shipments go to Asia.
HE the Minister said that Europe needs 7 or 8 years to secure its energy needs away from the Russian sources, indicating that Europe imports between 40 to 50 % of its needs from Russia, and that the Russian gas cannot be replaced overnight.
Speaking about the European countries' desire to diversify their sources of energy supplies and the accompanying rise in prices, he added that long-term plans cannot be formulated based on a reaction by the temporary events related to the Russian-Ukrainian war.
He pointed out the difference between the mechanisms for dealing with supplies destined for the Asian continent and those destined for the European continent, as Qatar has long-term contracts with many Asian countries which receive 80% of Qatar's gas supplies.
He underlined that the rise in prices recorded in the global oil and gas market is primarily due to the imbalance between supply and demand, resulting from the lack of investment expenditures in the field, in addition to the war between Russia and Ukraine, adding: "It requires investment to make production stable and continuous."
The Chairman and CEO of TotalEnergies, Patrick Pouyanne, said that the company does not plan to write off its assets in Russia after the war of Ukraine like its international counterparts.
"For me its a question of accountability and the responsibility of the offshore stakeholders. Do I give them for free to Mr Putin because this is what it means leaving today and giving my shares," Pouyanne said.
Instead of a full exit from Russia, TotalEnergies said that it would no longer provide capital for new projects in Russia and would not renew its Russian gasoil and crude supply contracts.
Pouyanne said that European gas prices would keep rising until a decision is made that Europe will use the fuel for the long term, which would lure investment.
He said that the way to control price gains was to accept the need for gas to be part of the energy mix for the coming years.
He added it was inevitable Europe, which is around 30% to 40% dependent on Russian gas, would seek other suppliers, necessitating costly investments in infrastructure such as LNG terminals.