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DUBAI: Qatar has agreed to supply Shell in the Netherlands with gas for 27 years, the second such deal with a European buyer in a week, as the Gulf state competes with the United States to help Europe replace lost Russian supplies.

Shell’s agreement is identical to a TotalEnergies deal last week with QatarEnergy to supply France. Both are Qatar’s biggest and longest gas supply deals with Europe.

Qatar, the world’s top exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG), has previously focused on long-term supplies to the Asian market.

But European Union buyers have signed deals to import gas to compensate for the loss of supply from Russia after the EU imposed restrictions on Russian energy imports in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year.

Affiliates of QatarEnergy and Shell agreed to two sale and purchase agreements for 3.5 million tonnes of LNG a year (mtpa) for 27 years, QatarEnergy said.

The deal reaffirmed “Qatar’s commitment to help meeting Europe’s energy demands and bolstering its energy security with a source known for its superior economic and environmental qualities,” QatarEnergy chief Saad al-Kaabi said in the company’s statement.

But the long-term deals are potentially at odds with EU goals to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

France last month said the EU should set fossil fuel phase-out dates to strengthen its efforts to agree a global phase-out deal at the upcoming COP28 UN climate summit, hosted by the United Arab Emirates from Nov. 30.

A spokesman for the Dutch climate ministry Tim van Dijk said the government aimed to cut gas demand but would need gas “in the foreseeable future, as renewable alternatives and infrastructure are insufficiently available.”

France’s environment ministry did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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