Qatar’s Energy Minister Saad al-Kaabi warned Tuesday that Europe faces a severe shortage of oil and gas, saying only a warm winter and an economic slowdown have prevented more serious consequences in recent months.
The main risk of an energy crisis lies in the lack of investment in hydrocarbon extraction due to plans to transition to cleaner fuels, the minister said at the Qatar Economic Forum.
Al Kaabi asserted that if the economy revives and a normal winter occurs, the situation could worsen. He went on to question the viability of the energy transition itself and its effects, arguing that renewables such as wind and solar can generate electricity but cannot cover the production of products such as plastics, makeup, or creams. He considered that renewables alone do not solve the problem and that an appropriate mix of different energy sources is required, and that this mix cannot be driven solely by political motives.
The minister proposed to European leaders that they establish a proper plan, negotiate with producers, and avoid demonizing oil companies and gas suppliers in order to find a sensible solution. He warned that there is a possibility that by the end of the year there will be a shortage of gas from the North Field East and North Field South gas fields, located in the Persian Gulf off the coast of Qatar, in terms of long-term contracts due to high demand.
Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud also pointed to risks to global energy security due to procrastination policies. He criticized the lack of investment in gas extraction and raised questions about the viability and price of different renewable energy sources, such as hydrogen.
In summary, the Qatari energy minister warned of impending oil and gas shortages in Europe and questioned the effectiveness of the energy transition. He proposed an approach of dialogue and cooperation with energy producers to find a balanced solution. These comments highlight the importance of addressing energy challenges in a holistic manner, considering environmental concerns as well as economic and supply needs.