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UK government denies report it asked Qatar for additional LNG supplies


Report that ministers held talks over long-term arrangement

UK has 'regular' discussions with key energy partners

UK month-ahead gas price most expensive among Europe's hubs

  • Author
  • Stuart Elliott    Claudia Carpenter
  • Editor
  • Andy Critchlow
  • Commodity
  • Energy LNG Natural Gas

The UK government has not asked for more LNG supplies from Qatar or secured extra short-term deliveries, a government spokesperson said Nov. 8, following a report that the UK had approached Doha for a new long-term deal and additional supplies.

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Month-ahead gas prices at the UK NBP are currently the most expensive among Europe's traded gas hubs, with S&P Global Platts assessing the December NBP contract at 191.50 pence/therm (Eur76.31/MWh, $25.83/MMBtu) on Nov. 5.

That is 363% higher than the 41.33 p/th price of the NBP month-ahead contract a year ago.

According to a Financial Times report on Nov. 5, UK government ministers have held talks with Qatar over a long-term arrangement where Qatar would become a "supplier of last resort" to the UK.

It also reported that Qatar had diverted four LNG cargoes for delivery to the UK over the past two weeks.

"The UK government has not requested or secured any additional shipments from the Qatari government," the UK government spokesperson told S&P Global Platts.

The UK's Centrica already has a long-term Qatari LNG import agreement for delivery into the Isle of Grain terminal, while Qatar Energy itself is co-owner of the South Hook LNG terminal in Wales.

Centrica could not be reached for comment Nov. 8, while Qatar Energy did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

"We already receive regular shipments of LNG from Qatar, and other LNG suppliers, as part of existing commercial arrangements between buyers and sellers," the government spokesperson said.

"We have regular discussions with our key energy partners around the world ahead of winter and to discuss the global transition to clean energy," the spokesperson added.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson held brief talks with the Emir of Qatar, Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, during COP26, though the discussions were thought to have centered on a recent deal between Qatar and Rolls Royce on climate technology innovation.

UK gas mix

The UK produces around half of the gas it consumes, and relies on imports to meet the remaining demand.

Norway is its biggest external supplier, with LNG deliveries also key to supply.

"Our gas supply remains secure, thanks to a diverse range of sources at home and abroad. We have more than enough delivery capacity to meet demand," the spokesperson said.

Qatar's LNG supplies to the UK have reached 5.67 Bcm of gas equivalent in the year to date, according to data from S&P Global Analytics.