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Qatar minister criticizes EU over energy

Deputy Premier says some European countries are disingenuous about reducing consumption, given the high tax revenue on hydrocarbons.

January 18, 2010 12:01 by

Emily Meredith

Qatar’s Deputy Premier today claimed that some EU countries are disingenuous about reducing energy consumption, given the high revenues earned through the taxation of hydrocarbons.

“They are making even more money than us and at the same time they are always trying to convince the public they are trying to reduce [consumption],” said Abdulla Bin Hamad Al Attiyah, Qatar’s Deputy Premier and minister of energy and industry. He claimed that some countries which claim to be against hydrocarbon use often “change [their] tone” when they discover oil.

Al Attiyah was speaking at the World Future Energy Summit, a four-day alternative energy forum being held in Abu Dhabi. His comments were made at a roundtable discussion of energy ministers from the Middle East, Asia and Africa; a meeting between the ministers’ European and North American counterparts was held separately.

In an earlier briefing, the Qatari minister said that the oil market is “well-supplied” and that it was too early to speculate about the outcome of OPEC’s next meeting in March.

Mohammad bin Dhaen Al Hamli, the UAE’s energy minister, said today that world oil prices are “very reasonable,” adding that “I am not comfortable with volatility in prices.”

Al Hamli added that nuclear energy is part of the diversified strategy for the UAE. “The UAE’s strategy is to diversify its sources of energy and I think it is very important to note that the reason we went for the nuclear option is because it was the most viable option, given the fact that the UAE doesn’t have enough natural gas to fuel the economy.”

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