The European Commission has opened a formal investigation into restrictions to the free flow of gas sold by Qatar Petroleum.
It will assess whether supply agreements between its companies exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG) and European importers have stopped them from diverting shipments within the region.
It will also investigate whether Qatar Petroleum’s long term agreements, typically 20 or 25 years, for the supply of LNG into the EEA contain direct and/or indirect territorial restrictions.
The Commission said certain clauses in the agreements appear to restrict the EEA importers’ freedom to sell the LNG in other destinations within the region.
Qatar Petroleum is the largest supplier of LNG in Europe, accounting for around 40% of its overall LNG imports.
The company said it will work with the Commission to address any queries or concerns it may have.
A spokesperson added: “Qatar Petroleum wishes to stress that it gives the highest importance to compliance with regulatory authorities in all geographical areas in which it operates.”