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Qatar seeks diversified gas customer base -minister tells Handelsblatt

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FRANKFURT, May 21 (Reuters) - Qatar is striving for a diversified set of customers for its natural gas, the Gulf state's energy minister told German daily Handelsblatt, potentially posing a limit to Germany's purchasing ambitions to cut its dependency on Russian energy.

"Just like buyers want to diversify their supplier base, we are keen to diversify our customers," minister Saad Sherida al-Kaabi said in an interview published on Saturday. "I don't want to sell all our gas to Germany. Should Germany decide to terminate gas use we would be caught in a trap."

Talks with Germany were very constructive, he added.

The Emir of Qatar, Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, told a joint news conference in Berlin with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Friday that Qatar plans to start supplying liquefied natural gas to Germany in 2024.

German plans to set up LNG terminals are proceeding at speed as the country scrambles to wean itself off cheaper gas imports piped from Russia in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine. (Reporting by Ludwig Burger; Editing by Mike Harrison)

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