How Germany Has Managed To Keep Producing After Boycotting Russian Fossil Fuels

Putin’s Energy Gamble Backfires As Germany Secures Long-Term Gas Supplies

:pushpin: German reliance on Russian gas has made the Kremlin believe it could get away with invading Ukraine.

:pushpin: LNG supply from both the U.S. and Qatar to Germany took a flight since the beginning of the invasion.

:pushpin: The U.S. has been instrumental in convincing third-party LNG suppliers to redirect supply to Europe.

The U.S. knew at that point that it was essential to organise new gas supplies into Europe as a whole and into Germany in particular as soon as possible, otherwise this moment of realisation in Europe of Russia’s frailty would be lost a catalysing moment of geopolitical change across the continent. Immediately, moves were made to move more U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Europe but, in tandem with this, the U.S. brought pressure to bear on other leading global suppliers of LNG (which can be supplied much quicker and easier than pipelined gas) to make supplies available to Germany. A very early example of this was Qatar, which in May 2022 signed a declaration of intent on energy cooperation with Germany aimed at becoming its key supplier of LNG. These plans would run in parallel with, but were likely to be finished significantly sooner than, the plans for Qatar to also make available to Germany sizeable supplies of LNG from the Golden Pass terminal on the Gulf Coast of Texas. The U.S.’s ExxonMobil holds a 30 percent stake in the Golden Pass project, with QatarEnergy holding the rest. The U.S. was also behind the two sales and purchase agreements signed in December 2022 between QatarEnergy and the U.S.’s ConocoPhillips to export LNG to Germany for at least 15 years from 2026.

Since those early deals, new deals with new suppliers for Germany have begun to appear, again in which the U.S.’s hand is present, if one looks closely enough. News emerged towards the end of 2022 that Germany and Oman were in advanced talks to sign a long-term deal for LNG lasting at least 10 years, with the initial amounts touted as being in the 0.5-1 million tonnes per annum level. Last week saw the Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. (ADNOC) deliver 137,000 cubic metres of LNG – its first to Germany – for the Elbehafen floating storage regasification unit (FSRU) LNG terminal in Brunsbüttel. This is likely to be one of many further deliveries, according to ADNOC Gas acting chief executive officer, Ahmed Alebri, who said: “ADNOC Gas stands ready to provide further shipments of this key transition fuel to our partner, RWE and German industry.” The U.S. made it very clear after discovering in December 2021 that China had been building a secret military facility in the UAE’s Khalifa Port area that it looked forward to a new phase in its relationship with the UAE, a senior legal source who works closely with the U.S. Presidential Administration exclusively told at the time. Brunsbüttel is the third FSRU to begin operations in Germany after the startup of the Wilhelmshaven facility in December and the Lubmin unit in early January. Germany’s economy ministry expects Germany to have 37 billion cubic mtpa of LNG import capacity available by 2024.