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QatarEnergy Scores Big Even as World Cup Team Struggles To

TheStreet 11/29/2022 Tony Owusu

Despite a disappointing run from its soccer team, Qatar has been the big winner during the World Cup tournament thanks to QatarEnergy.

There's no extra time left for Qatar in the 2022 World Cup after the country's national team lost to the Netherlands 2-nil Tuesday, but QatarEnergy has been the real winner during the quadrennial tournament. 

Qatar, a country of 2.9 million, is hosting an estimated 1.7 million visitors for the month-long soccer tournament that concludes on December 18. 

As the host country, Qatar's national team, The Maroon, received an automatic bid to the 32-team field. 

But Tuesday's loss means that the country is one of the first 16 teams (along with Canada) to be eliminated in the group stage.

But even with nearly 230 million people per day (five billion estimated viewers over the course of the proceedings), The Maroon isn't the only hometown team on the big stage in the deserts of Qatar.

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QatarEnergy Strikes a Deal With Germany

On the same day Qatar was eliminated from the World Cup, QatarEnergy, along with partner ConocoPhillips  (COP) - Get Free Report, announced that it signed two agreements to supply liquefied natural gas in a 15-year pact. 

Up to two million tons of gas will come from the North Field East and North Field South LNG projects and be piped through a terminal under construction in the German town Brunsbuettel.  

The North Field is the world's largest gas field. Qatar shares the rights to the area with Iran. 

"Germany is the largest gas market in Europe, with significant demand in the industrial, power, and household sectors, and we are committed to contribute to the energy security of Germany and Europe at large," said Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, QatarEnergy president and CEO. 

The deal doesn't kick in until 2026 but is part of Germany's long-term ambition to wean itself off of Russian oil as the country has used its position as Europe's main oil supplier as a point of pain during its war with Ukraine. 

Russian gas currently accounts for nearly 40% of Europe's imports. 

This is the second big deal QatarEnergy has signed with a major foreign player since the World Cup kicked off. 

Last week, a day after the tournament's opening ceremonies, the state-run oil company signed China's Sinopec oil company to a 27-year supply pact.

The company says that the deal for four million tonnes of LNG from the North Field East project is the sector's largest single sales and purchase agreement on record. 

The deal was also the first supply deal announced for NFE.

“The recent volatility has driven buyers to understand the importance of having long-term supply that is fixed and that’s reasonably priced for the long term,” al-Kaabi said in an interview, according to Al Jazeera

Qatar on the World Stage

When FIFA decided to award Qatar the 2022 World Cup, the decision was met with some confusion.

Qatar hosting the biggest sports tournament in the world is historic. The World Cup is being held in the Middle East for the first time in its 92-year history. 

It is also, by far, the most expensive World Cup in history.

There are estimates that the tiny, oil-rich, conservative Muslim country is spending between $229 billion and $300 billion to put on the show, which is expected to have a television audience of five billion of the world's eight billion people. 

For comparison, Russia, whose energy business losses are now Qatar's gains, spent a then-record $11.6 billion to host the World Cup four years ago in 2018. 

Despite a disappointing run from its soccer team, Qatar has been the big winner during the World Cup tournament thanks to QatarEnergy and a pair of new long-term supply deals with two of the world's largest economies. 

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