April 21, 2024

Kaabi warns Europe of gas shortages in switch to renewables

Minister of State for Energy Affairs and QatarEnergy President and CEO of HE Saad bin Sherida Al Kaabi has warned that ‘the worst is yet to come’ for Europe in terms of oil and gas shortages if the region didn’t have a ‘proper plan’ for a ‘mix of all energy sources’.

Speaking during a panel discussion on the first day of his the Qatar Economic Forum (QEF) in Doha on Tuesday, Kaabi said, “People talk about renewables as if it’s the ‘fix all’. If you look at renewables, you can generate electricity from wind and solar but you can’t manufacture plastics and things that you have in this room that are all manufactured.”

He warned that governments’ energy transition policies will discourage investment in fossil fuels and lead to natural gas scarcity in the next decade, including in Europe.

In the “Energy Minister Outlook” session at the Qatar Economic Forum on Tuesday, Kaabi expected a large shortage of gas in the future, mostly due to the energy transition, which is very aggressive.

He said, “The only thing that saved humanity and Europe this year was the warm winter and the slowdown in the economy around the world. If the economy starts churning in 2024, and you have a reasonable, just a regular winter, I think the worst is yet to come if they don’t realise that and have a proper plan and sit down with producers and oil and gas companies and not demonise them.”

He added that he did think ‘reality will kick in’, after outlining his view that oil, gas and renewables were all part of the future.

“Economic stability and environmental responsibility are not mutually exclusive, everyone has to have both,” he said.

He expressed his happiness at the G7 final statement on the need for more liquefied natural gas for global consumption.

He pointed out that the demand for gas from the expansion projects in the North Field East and the North Field South is very large.

He said that Qatar is on the verge of producing 126 million tonnes by 2026, stressing the need to carefully study matters regarding future energy supplies to achieve economic stability in light of the crises experienced by some countries of the world.

On the possibility of Qatar increasing its capacity to more than 126 million tonnes annually, the minister said that when the right time comes and Qatar can do it technically, it will definitely do more.

In the same context, Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman affirmed the continuation of work with the OPEC + deal, in accordance with the proactive, preventive and precautionary measures taken by OPEC and its allies, regardless of any criticism.

He said that they deal with matters realistically and have a proactive view of what might happen in the future in the global economy.

Iraq’s Oil Minister Hayan Abdel Ghani affirmed commitment to the OPEC+ deal, despite the economic difficulties that Iraq is going through.

Commenting on the resumption of pumping Iraqi oil through Turkey, he said that Baghdad is waiting for a final response from Turkey before pumping oil through the port of Ceyhan.

He added the Turkish government has informed Iraq that it is assessing whether the pipeline was damaged as a result of the devastating earthquake that occurred in February, and that a technical team is assessing the whole situation.