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The European Union today said it would form a “strategic partnership” with the Gulf Cooperation Council and its Member States “as part of enhancing engagement in the broader region,” the EU said on Monday in a publication of the council’s conclusions.
Meanwhile, the 9-page document also calls on the Gulf nations to do their part in strapping on the energy transition.
“Close and effective cooperation between the European Union and Gulf partners is essential to achieve key objectives of the European Union, notably peaceful and prosperous Gulf and Middle East regions, a strong economic recovery, sustainable, affordable and secure energy supplies for European consumers, a strong collaboration on green transition between Europe and its partners, to contribute to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, and a strong response to global humanitarian and development needs,” the list of conclusions read in part.
The EU also said that it and its partners “can work together to support global efforts on methane emission reduction, contributing to the decarbonisation of the oil and gas sector.”
The statement from the EU about cozying up to some of the world’s most oil- and gas-rich nations comes as the EU looks to achieve energy independence from Russia. It also follows U.S. President Biden’s announcement that he would visit Saudi Arabia to mend some fences after attempting to ostracize the country—and its de facto leader, Mohammad bin Salman—over humanitarian issues.
“Gulf partners are reliable Liquefied Natural Gas providers to international markets, including to the EU,” the statement reads, adding that LNG “remains key in the short term, to limit the volatility of global markets, and ensure a smooth transition.”
But littered among this call to improve relations with the Gulf countries are calls for the Gulf states to do more with regards to the energy transition—a push that the Gulf countries may find irksome.
The EU has had difficulties in the past in threading the needle between pushing the Gulf countries hard over the energy transition, and asking for additional LNG supplies as Russia wields gas supplies to the EU like a mighty weapon.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for Oilprice.com, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.