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DOHA: Qatar’s energy minister warned on Tuesday the “worst is yet to come” for Europe’s oil and gas shortages, saying a warm winter had prevented greater difficulties in recent months.

“The only thing that saved humanity and Europe this year was a warm winter, and the slowdown in the economy,” Qatari Energy Minister Saad Al-Kaabi told the Qatar Economic Forum.

“If the economy starts churning back up in (2024) and you have just a regular winter, I think the worst is yet to come.”

After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sparked an energy supply crisis, Europe dodged serious problems this past winter largely because of milder-than-expected temperatures.

But Kaabi and his Saudi counterpart, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, both told the conference that an energy crunch was looming.

“If they don’t realise that and have a proper plan and sit down with producers and oil and gas companies are not demonised, reality will kick in and we’ll have a sensible solution,” Kaabi said.

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