Reuters is reporting that the European Commission is investigating the EU’s largest sea-borne gas supplier, Qatar Petroleum, over potentially restrictive 20 year supply agreements.
The primary concern reportedly centres around the fear that agreements with fixed destination clauses will inhibit the development of a single gas market in the bloc.
Indeed, having recently completed a seven-year market abuse probe into Russia’s Gazprom, the EU stated that it was seeking to determine if Qatar’s LNG supply deals with European utilities barred them from diverting shipments within the region.
According to Reuters, the probe into Qatar’s LNG deals follows extensive consultation between the European Commission and Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry in recent months, exploring the impact of such curbs on gas market development and price transparency.
“We have opened an investigation to look at whether there are problematic territorial restriction clauses in gas supply contracts with Qatar Petroleum,” Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said in a statement. “Such clauses may harm competition and prevent consumers from enjoying the benefits of an integrated European energy market.”
Qatar Petroleum has announced that the investigation will focus on five of its LNG subsidiaries operated by Qatargas, and has made clear that it “gives the highest importance to compliance with regulatory authorities in all geographical areas in which it operates.”
Read the article online at: https://www.lngindustry.com/liquid-natural-gas/25062018/eu-investigating-qatars-lng-contracts/