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Russia seeks closer energy links with Qatar: minister


Sanctions driving Russian bid for market diversification

Russia also seeking closer cooperation with Indian, Chinese partners

  • Author
  • Rosemary Griffin
  • Editor
  • Kshitiz Goliya
  • Commodity
  • Coal LNG Natural Gas Oil
  • Tags
  • United States
  • Topic
  • War in Ukraine

Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said March 14 that Russia wanted to increase energy cooperation with Qatar.

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Russia is looking to increase energy links with alternative partners after the US and European governments moved to drastically reduce cooperation with Russia, following its invasion of Ukraine.

"We have good prospects and a common interest in continuing coordination on the global energy market, including within the framework of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum," Lavrov said at a press conference in Moscow following talks with his Qatari counterpart.

In addition to the GECF, Russia's existing energy cooperation with Qatar includes the Qatar Investment Authority's 18.46% stake in Russia's largest crude producer Rosneft.

Both countries also played a key role in establishing the OPEC+ crude production agreement in December 2016, before Qatar left OPEC in 2018.

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Since tensions began to rise over Ukraine at the start of this year, Russia has signed a 10 Bcm/year gas supply deal as well as a crude supply deal for over 100 million mt/year over 10 years with Chinese partners.

Russian deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak also said March 10 that Russia is looking to increase oil exports to India.

Analysts see Asian investors as key potential partners for Russia as it responds to Western companies exiting projects and reducing energy imports.

Following the Russia invasion on Feb. 24 the US has banned imports of Russian oil, LNG and coal.

The UK has said that it is aiming to phase out imports of Russian crude oil and oil products by the end of 2022, and the EU is aiming to make Europe independent from Russian fossil fuels well before 2030.

Western oil and gas companies have also announced plans to exit some upstream projects and stakes in Russian companies.