EU opens investigation into Qatar’s long-term LNG contracts

The logo of Qatar Petroleum is seen at its headquarters in Doha, Qatar, July 8, 2017. (Reuters pic)

BRUSSELS: The European Commission on Thursday said it had opened an investigation into the free flow of LNG sold by Qatar Petroleum in Europe.

The investigation will focus on whether agreements on the sale of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to European companies have restricted the free flow of gas in the European Economic Area.

The Commission said it was looking into contract clauses which either prevented or limited the diversion of gas to other destinations.

“Such clauses may harm competition and prevent consumers from enjoying the benefits of an integrated European energy market,” EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement.

Qatar Petroleum is the largest exporter of LNG globally and to Europe, the Commission said.