Germany is poised to sign liquified natural gas import deals with the United Arab Emirates within days, as it moves to replace all of its Russian gas imports by 2024.
The new offtaking deals are set to coincide with a visit to the UAE by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, scheduled to take place on Sunday.
German Economy Minister Robert Habeck said the country’s gas supply is slowly broadening and the government is constantly in talks with multiple countries, Reuters reported on Monday.
Two people familiar with the development told Upstream that the new LNG contracts are likely to involve state-owned Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) which is building the huge Fujairah LNG export terminal and is also expanding its upstream capacity on the back of the multibillion dollar Hail & Ghasha sour gas development.
Adnoc is likely to emerge as a major gas exporter in the next three to four years, targeting Asia and Europe as its key markets, one person claimed.
In 2021, Russia accounted for 55% of Germany's gas imports, a level that had declined to 26% by the end of June 2022, due to significantly reduced flows via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which is operating at just 20% of capacity, according to a recent report by the World Economic Forum.
The European nation has taken several steps to reduce dependence on Russian gas in the short-to-medium term.
It has already leased or bought five floating storage and regasification units to quickly start importing LNG directly to help replace Russian volumes.
Two of the FSRUs will be stationed in Wilhelmshaven and Brunsbuettel, able to jointly handle up to 12.5 billion cubic metres per annum.
The country is also in talks with Qatar and Canada, among others, to raise LNG imports in the medium term.
German utilities RWE and Uniper are also negotiating the potential terms for long-term deals with Qatar to buy LNG from the country's North Field Expansion project, Reuters reported on Tuesday, quoting anonymous sources.
Many European nations are looking to the Middle East for LNG as they aim to phase out Russian gas imports in the coming years.
The UAE and France in July signed strategic energy cooperation deals that aim to ensure oil and gas supplies from the Middle East nation and to increase cooperation on hydrogen, renewables and nuclear projects.
The first agreement involved a comprehensive strategic energy partnership between the two nations, while the second was a strategic partnership between Adnoc and French giant TotalEnergies.
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