Qatar won’t cut gas to UAE: Qatar Petroleum CEO

Saad al-Kaabi, chief executive of Qatar Petroleum, gestures during a news conference in Doha, Qatar, December 11, 2016. Qatar will not cut off gas to the United Arab Emirates despite a diplomatic dispute and a “force majeure” clause in its contract, the chief executive of Qatar Petroleum told Al Jazeera network, two weeks after some Gulf Arab states severed ties with Doha. CEO Saad al-Kaabi said that although there was a “force majeure” clause in the agreement on the Dolphin gas pipeline, which links Qatar’s giant North Field with the UAE, Qatar would not stop supplies for other reasons. “The siege we have today is a force majeure and we could close the gas pipeline to the UAE,” he said. “But if we cut the gas, it does great harm to the UAE and the people of the UAE, who are considered like brothers … we decided not to […]

Gulf Showdown Exposes Qatar’s Fragility

17 Jun 2017   Qatar

At her new exhibition in Doha, Qatari artist Maryam Al-Semaitt explained to guests the central message of her latest work: what happens when great wealth is taken for granted. That money, mainly from selling natural gas from a peninsula in the Gulf desert that was a British protectorate until 1971, has paid for the city’s skyscrapers, hotels and investments in some of the world’s most iconic companies, buildings and sports teams. What it can’t do, she said, is provide a shield for what’s now the world’s richest nation. The showdown with Gulf neighbors Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates has exposed the precarious position of Qatar. The soft power of the multi-billion-dollar Qatar brand that was meant to protect it has never looked more fragile. Doha’s isolation, cutting it off from diplomatic and transport links, is heading into a third week. “The fact that we have always taken […]

World Bank: Persian Gulf economies growing, but face considerable risk

17 Jun 2017   Qatar

Geopolitical risks, as well as U.S. economic and energy sector influences, could undercut growth for Persian Gulf countries, the World Bank said. A World Bank report on the economies for members of the Gulf Cooperation Council finds aggregate growth expands from 1.3 percent this year to 2.6 percent in 2019. A regional economic report, the first for the bank, said oil prices should hold steady and support growth in the region, but nowhere near the levels from 2014, when the global benchmark for the price of oil, Brent, was more than twice the current level. Nadir Mohammed, the GCC director at the World Bank, said some energy market recovery is supporting regional growth with the help of improvements in the non-oil […]

Qatar Spat Spills Over To Libya’s Oil, Rekindles Political Divides

15 Jun 2017   Libya, Qatar

Just as Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) is targeting to raise crude oil output to 1 million bpd by the end of July, the rivaling factions in the east and west of the country have entered into a fresh dispute over Libya’s crude oil sales after several Arab states cut ties with Qatar last week. In the east, the military commander is supported by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Egypt—three of the Arab states that severed ties with Qatar, accusing it of sponsoring terrorism and destabilizing the region. According to Bloomberg, the chairman of the eastern NOC in Libya, Nagi al-Maghrabi, has accused Qatar of using its 8.5-percent stake in commodity trader Glencore to control the Swiss trader’s sales of Libyan crude oil. Authorities in eastern Libya have threatened to block Glencore operations, which could potentially reduce (again) Libya’s output and threaten its tentative recovery. Earlier […]

How The Qatar Crisis Is Shaping The Future Of The Region

15 Jun 2017   Qatar

GCC-member Qatar has been confronted by a concerted diplomatic and economic effort from its former Arab allies, led by Saudi Arabia, UAE, and non-GCC member, Egypt. The official cause of this rift appears to be statements made by the Emir of Qatar criticizing growing U.S.-Saudi military cooperation and their anti-Iran positions. The Qatar News Agency quoted the Emir as saying, “ There is no wisdom in harboring hostility towards Iran.” Qatar quickly denounced the statement, suggesting that the Qatar News Agency had fallen victim to a cyberattack. This claim did not prevent the GCC countries and Egypt from coming together to jointly accuse Qatar of supporting terrorism and destabilizing the region. The crisis has been brewing for some time. In 2014, another diplomatic breakdown between the same players led to the withdrawal of ambassadors from Doha. During that time, Doha was accused of having links to the Muslim Brotherhood […]

Analysis: LNG trade disruption worries ease as Qatari flows to Suez, Egypt resume

14 Jun 2017   Qatar
Analysis: LNG trade disruption worries ease as Qatari flows to Suez, Egypt resume

Singapore (Platts)–13 Jun 2017 719 am EDT/1119 GMT

* Qatargas vessels transit Suez for Ras Laffan

* Egypt gets Qatar LNG despite blockade
* Limited impact of UAE’s port restrictions
* Qatar Petroleum: “business as usual”

Concerns over the impact of diplomatic blockade on Qatar on LNG trade flows eased this week, following deliveries of Qatari LNG into Egypt and the transiting of several Qatari vessels through the Suez Canal, a key transport route for Middle East LNG shipments to the European markets.  This came as a relief to LNG traders, who were caught off guard last week when two Qatari cargoes destined for the UK via the Suez Canal turned around off the coast of Yemen and diverted towards South Africa’s Cape of Good Hope, raising fears Egypt might have restricted access to the waterway.  Market experts, however, argued the diversion was likely a move by the Qatari government to avoid transiting the Suez Canal and paying US dollar-denominated canal fees to Egypt, among those to have cut diplomatic ties with Qatar.

Chart: Qatari LNG exports in 2016

“It was likely Qatar’s decision to turn away the two cargoes rather than Egypt’s,” said an Atlantic-based LNG trader.

Flying Cows to Qatar Is One Man’s Way to Beat the Saudis

13 Jun 2017   Qatar

Call it the biggest bovine airlift in history. The showdown between Qatar and its neighbors has disrupted trade, split families and threatened to alter long-standing geopolitical alliances. It’s also prompted one Qatari businessman to fly 4,000 cows to the Gulf desert in an act of resistance and opportunity to fill the void left by a collapse in the supply of fresh milk. It will take as many as 60 flights for Qatar Airways to deliver the 590-kilogram beasts that Moutaz Al Khayyat, chairman of Power International Holding, bought in Australia and the U.S. “This is the time to work for Qatar,” he said. Photographer: Brent Lewin Led by Saudi Arabia, Qatar stands accused of supporting Islamic militants, charges the sheikhdom has repeatedly denied. The isolation that started on June 5 has forced the world’s richest country by capita to open new trade routes to import food, building materials and […]

Qatar crisis to speed the rise of Asia’s spot LNG trade

13 Jun 2017   Qatar

Qatar’s isolation by other Arab nations has dealt a strong hand to Japanese utilities in talks reviewing long-term gas contracts with the top LNG exporter, likely accelerating a shift to a more openly traded global market for the fuel. If Japan gets its way in the periodic contract review, the world’s biggest buyer of LNG would have to import more short-notice supplies from producers such as the United States, another step away from rigid deals that run for decades towards a more active spot market. At stake for Qatar are 7.2 million tonnes of annual liquefied natural gas (LNG) sold in contracts that expire in 2021. The $2.8 billion a year in gas mostly goes to Japan’s JERA, a joint venture between Tokyo Electric […]

Qatar remains committed to oil supply cut deal: minister

12 Jun 2017   Qatar

OPEC President Qatar’s Energy Minister Mohammed bin Saleh al-Sada addresses a news conference after a meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in Vienna, Austria, November 30, 2016. REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader Qatar’s energy minister said on Sunday Qatar remained committed to an oil output cut deal agreed upon by OPEC and non-OPEC producers last month. Mohammed al-Sada said in a statement “circumstances in the region shall not prevent the state of Qatar from honoring its international commitment of cutting its oil production.” (Reporting by Rania El Gamal; editing by Jason Neely)

Gulf Mediator Says Qatar ‘Ready to Understand’ Region’s Concerns

12 Jun 2017   Qatar

Kuwaiti minister says his country to continue mediation effort Saudi-led alliance cut ties and transport links with Qatar Gulf crisis mediator Kuwait said on Sunday that isolated Qatar was “ready to understand” the concerns of its neighbors and bolster stability in the region, in a sign that the week-old spat may be easing. Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Hamad Al-Sabah said his country would not abandon mediation efforts until the impasse was resolved, the state-run KUNA news agency reported. Qatari leaders are “willing to hold dialogue” to end the crisis, he said. Anwar Gargash, the United Arab Emirates’ minister of state for foreign affairs, retweeted the Kuwaiti remarks from France 24, and then added in a separate message: “Is this the beginning in which wisdom and reason prevail? I hope so.” Saudi Arabia, the U.A.E., Bahrain and Egypt last week cut diplomatic relations and transport links with Qatar, saying […]

These Are the Corporate Winners and Losers of the Qatar Standoff

12 Jun 2017   Qatar

Sanctions against Qatar may hurt U.A.E. construction companies Qatar Airways is set to be one of the biggest losers With Qatar increasingly isolated from its Gulf neighbors in an escalating geopolitical crisis, the economic and financial implications are starting to emerge. The country — which has been accused of supporting Islamist militant groups by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt — relies on other Gulf states for about 20 percent of its imports and almost half of its tourists, according to Dubai-based Arqaam Capital Ltd. Billions of dollars of infrastructure projects are also at stake as it prepares to host the 2022 soccer World Cup. “We expect the move to cut diplomatic ties with Qatar could have significant economic ramifications for its economy, but to have barely an effect on the rest of the GCC,” said Arqaam’s head of equity research Jaap Meijer. “We expect consumer […]

Trump criticises Qatar for funding terrorism at ‘high level’

10 Jun 2017   Qatar, USA

Donald Trump accused Qatar of funding terrorism at a “high level”, just hours after his secretary of state urged Saudi Arabia and its allies to end a blockade of the gas-rich state because it was creating economic hardship and hitting counter-terrorism efforts.  Speaking from the White House, Mr Trump said Qatar “has historically been a funder of terrorism at a very high level”. His comments came at the end of a week that saw Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt sever ties with the Gulf state over what they said were concerns that it was fuelling terrorism and supporting Shia proxies of Iran.  Mr Trump said Saudi Arabia and other nations had talked to him about confronting Qatar in the wake of his recent visit to Riyadh.

Saudis Have a Lot to Lose in Fight With Qatar, Even If They Win

10 Jun 2017   Qatar, Saudi Arabia

Saudi camp has the numbers but standoff could scare investors A new faultline emerges in Middle East already torn by war Saudi Arabia dwarfs Qatar on almost any measure, yet there are plenty of ways the tussle between the Gulf neighbors could end up hurting the world’s biggest oil exporter — even if it wins. All week the Saudis and their allies have ratcheted up pressure on Qatar, cutting diplomatic ties and imposing a blockade by land, sea and air. The stated goal is to force Qatar to stop cozying up to Saudi Arabia’s rival Iran and bankrolling Islamist groups across the region. Qatar says it’s being punished for things it didn’t do, and the U.S. signaled Friday that it wants the embargo eased. The disagreement over Qatar is longstanding. The scale of the current crisis is new, and it’s erupted into a Middle East already polarized by war. […]

Pressure increases on energy-rich Qatar

10 Jun 2017   Qatar

Saudi Arabia and its Middle East allies said Friday they were committed to combating terrorism, condemning further the actions of OPEC-member Qatar. Saudi Arabia and its regional allies on Monday severed ties with Qatar because of its alleged support for terrorist groups like al-Qaida and the Sunni militants aligned with the Islamic State . The row raised questions over the durability of an agreement led by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to balance the market through managed production declines as many of the countries involved in the regional spat are members of the group. The government in Riyadh, through the official Saudi Press Agency, said it was joined by its counterparts in Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates […]

Biggest Middle East Ports Shun Qatar as Saudis Tighten Isolation

7 Jun 2017   Qatar

Saudi, Abu Dhabi oil ports bar tankers calling at Qatar Dubai’s DP World shuts access to container port at Jebel Ali The biggest Middle East oil and container ports banned all vessels sailing to and from Qatar from using their facilities amid a diplomatic crisis gripping the world’s main energy-exporting region. Saudi Arabian and Bahraini authorities closed off all of their ports to Qatari-flagged vessels or ships traveling to or coming from the Persian Gulf state, according to a notice posted on the website of Inchcape Shipping Services Tuesday. Container and oil terminals in the United Arab Emirates also closed off traffic to any ships touching Qatar, according to separate statements from three port operators. The three Persian Gulf countries and Egypt severed ties with Qatar Monday citing its support for regional rival Iran and for extremist groups. The dispute pits two of OPEC’s largest oil producers — Saudi […]

Biggest Middle East Ports Shun Qatar as Saudis Tighten Isolation

7 Jun 2017   Qatar

Saudi, Abu Dhabi oil ports bar tankers calling at Qatar Dubai’s DP World shuts access to container port at Jebel Ali The biggest Middle East oil and container ports banned all vessels sailing to and from Qatar from using their facilities amid a diplomatic crisis gripping the world’s main energy-exporting region. Saudi Arabian and Bahraini authorities closed off all of their ports to Qatari-flagged vessels or ships traveling to or coming from the Persian Gulf state, according to a notice posted on the website of Inchcape Shipping Services Tuesday. Container and oil terminals in the United Arab Emirates also closed off traffic to any ships touching Qatar, according to separate statements from three port operators. The three Persian Gulf countries and Egypt severed ties with Qatar Monday citing its support for regional rival Iran and for extremist groups. The dispute pits two of OPEC’s largest oil producers — Saudi […]

The Saudi Prince, the Sheikh and a Gulf Renegade

7 Jun 2017   Qatar

The choreographed statements by Saudi Arabia and three allies to quarantine Qatar at just after 6 a.m. on June 5 were not signed, but there was no mistake about who was behind them. The move to halt air and sea transport and shut the tiny Gulf nation’s only land border carried the fingerprints of two of the Arab world’s most powerful leaders: Saudi Arabia’s young deputy crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, and Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, the de facto head of the United Arab Emirates. The coordinated action underscores the growing authority of both men, whose countries control vast amounts of oil wealth and buy weapons from the U.S. They’ve been using both to mold the Middle East in recent years by supporting leaders and groups they like and opposing those they don’t. And now they have the explicit backing of President Donald Trump as he tries to toughen […]

Port bans choke Qatar’s commodity trade as gas supply worries grow

7 Jun 2017   Qatar

A campaign by leading Arab powers to isolate Qatar is disrupting trade in commodities from crude oil to metals and food, and deepening fears of a possible shock to the global gas market, where the tiny Gulf state is a major player. Just a day after Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies severed transport links with Qatar over a diplomatic row, bans on Doha’s fleet using regional ports and anchorages threatened to halt some of its exports and disrupt those of liquefied natural gas (LNG). Traders worried that Riyadh’s allies would refuse to accept LNG shipments from the Gulf state, and that Egypt might even bar tankers carrying Qatari cargoes from using the Suez Canal as they head to Europe and beyond – although Cairo is bound by an international agreement to let them […]

Qatar says ready for mediation to ease Gulf rift

7 Jun 2017   Qatar

Qatar’s foreign minister said on Tuesday Doha was ready for mediation efforts after the Arab world’s biggest powers severed ties with it, adding that Qatar’s ruler had delayed a speech in order to give Kuwait a chance to ease regional tensions. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain severed diplomatic relations with Qatar in a coordinated move on Monday. Yemen, Libya’s eastern-based government and the Maldives joined later and transport links were shut down. Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani spoke by telephone overnight with his counterpart in Kuwait, which has maintained diplomatic ties with Qatar, and decided to postpone a speech to the Qatari people as requested. Doha also decided not to retaliate against the measures. Qatar wants to give Kuwait’s Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad […]

Platts restricts Qatari-loading crude in pricing process

7 Jun 2017   Qatar

Oil pricing agency S&P Global Platts said it will not automatically include Qatari-loading crude in its Middle East benchmark after Saudi Arabia and some other Arab states cut ties with Doha, a move that disrupted traditional shipping routes. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain said on Monday they would sever all ties including transport links with Qatar, escalating past diplomatic disagreements. Within hours, the UAE barred all vessels coming to or from Qatar using its anchorage point off Fujairah, a popular location for bunkering, where vessels take on fuel of their own. Platts’ move is unlikely to have a significant impact on the broader oil market because Qatar is one of the smaller producers in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. Any disruption to Qatar’s liquefied natural gas exports, an area in which it is a major world player, could hit global prices, but there […]

Exxon says Qatar LNG not affected by Arab states tension

7 Jun 2017   Qatar

Exxon Mobil Corp ( XOM.N ) said on Tuesday that production and exports of liquefied natural gas from Qatar have not been affected by rising diplomatic tensions in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt on Monday cut ties with Qatar, accusing the country of supporting extremism. Qatar denies the allegations. The growing diplomatic rift has raised concerns about global access to Qatar’s LNG, especially after some regional ports in the Persian Gulf said they would not accept Qatari-flagged vessels. Commodities traders have grown concerned Qatar’s LNG could be barred from Saudi Arabia or from traversing Egypt’s Suez Canal, though so far no limitations have been imposed. Maersk ( MAERSKb.CO ), the world’s […]

Qatari commodity export costs to rise as UAE port ban disrupts trading

6 Jun 2017   Qatar

An Eikon ship-tracking screen shows tanker traffic around Qatar over the last seven days in this June 6, 2017 illustration photo. The costs of Qatari energy and commodity exports are likely to rise as the United Arab Emirates’ ban on Qatari vessels cuts the ships off from the region’s main refueling port, forcing ships to sail further for fuel or pay higher prices. Saudi Arabia and the UAE, along with Egypt, Yemen and Bahrain, on Monday cut diplomatic ties with Qatar amid accusations the country supported terrorists. The Arab allies are applying many economic pressure points, including barring Qatari flagged ships from entering their waters. Around half a dozen oil, chemical and liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers coming from Qatar have left UAE waters or halted in the open ocean instead of docking in the UAE or Saudi Arabia as planned, according to shipping data in Thomson Reuters Eikon. […]

Qatar’s an LNG Giant But Far Smaller When It Comes to Oil: Chart

6 Jun 2017   Qatar

Qatar is a big fish in the world of liquefied natural gas but a relative minnow when it comes to oil. The Middle Eastern nation, which was targeted by a Saudi Arabia-led alliance over Iran tensions Monday, is the world’s biggest producer of the super-chilled fuel, shipping out more than 30 percent of global exports last year. By contrast, the OPEC member accounts for only about 2 percent of the world’s oil supply. Qatar’s geography is more important to the oil market, as it sits near the three largest OPEC producers — Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Iran — and the crucial chokepoint at the Strait of Hormuz.

What Is Behind The Diplomatic Crisis In The Persian Gulf?

6 Jun 2017   Qatar

A sudden diplomatic crisis broke out in the Persian Gulf on June 5, as a coalition of countries moved to isolate Qatar, the tiny oil and gas-rich emirate. In a joint statement Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE and Egypt announced they would halt air, land and sea travel to and from Qatar, with Riyadh going so far as to ban Qatari aircraft from using Saudi air space as of June 6. The Arab countries have suspended diplomatic relations with Qatar and ordered Qatari diplomats to leave. Qatar has also been ejected from the Saudi-led coalition operating in Yemen. Shares on the Qatari exchange tumbled at the news , dropping 8 percent amid fears that the country’s economic growth is slowing down. The official justification was Qatar’s support for terrorism, including ISIS, but analysts point to regional tensions and growing divisions within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) as the real […]

Qatar’s dispute with Arab states lifts oil prices, may impact LNG supply

6 Jun 2017   Qatar

A map of Qatar is seen in this picture illustration June 5, 2017. Saudi Arabia and key allies on Monday cut ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting extremism, sending shockwaves through the energy industry as the countries involved include the world’s top oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporters. Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest crude oil exporter, along with the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Bahrain said they would sever all ties including transport links with Qatar, the top LNG exporter in the world. The three Gulf countries said they will give Qatari visitors and residents two weeks to leave. “(Qatar) embraces multiple terrorist and sectarian groups aimed at disturbing stability in the region, including the Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS (Islamic State) and al-Qaeda, and promotes the message and schemes of these groups through their media constantly,” Saudi state news agency SPA said . While the announcements did not […]

LNG traders evaluate impact of Saudi-led diplomatic blockade of Qatar

5 Jun 2017   LNG, Qatar

LNG traders are bracing for potential trade disruptions following moves from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the UAE to cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, the world’s largest LNG supplier. Saudi Arabia’s decision Monday to break diplomatic ties, consular relations as well as land, air and sea contacts with Qatar over terrorism and extremism funding claims were followed by similar moves from Bahrain, the UAE and Egypt, according to media reports. Qatar is the world’s largest LNG supplier, having exported 78.8 million mt of LNG in 2016, more than 30% of a total global supply of 257.8 million mt, according to S&P Global Platts Analytics, and an increasing share of its production is being delivered to emerging Middle Eastern buyers, including Egypt, Jordan and the UAE. Any disruptions in Qatari LNG supply could have a significant impact on pricing, regional trade flows and energy security in Egypt, which imports most […]

5 Arab States Break Ties With Qatar, Complicating U.S. Coalition-Building

5 Jun 2017   LNG, Qatar

Hours after five Arab countries broke diplomatic relations with Qatar , a crucial United States ally, Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson offered on Monday to broker the impasse in hopes of preserving the Trump administration’s efforts to create broad coalitions against Iran and terrorist groups in the Middle East. “We certainly would encourage the parties to sit down together and address these differences,” Mr. Tillerson said. “If there’s any role that we can play in terms of helping them address those, we think it is important that the G.C.C. remain unified,” he said, adding a reference to the Gulf Cooperation Council, a group of Persian Gulf countries. The remarks by Mr. Tillerson, who is in Australia with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, came on the heels of dramatic announcements by Bahrain , Egypt , Saudi Arabia , the United Arab Emirates and Yemen that they were […]

Iran vows to match Qatar in terms of overall energy production

15 Apr 2017   Iran, Qatar

Iran says it could match Qatar with it production goals. Both sides share in the development of a giant Persian Gulf field that Iran calls South Pars. File photo by Maryam Rahmanian/UPI. April 14 (UPI) — Iran could go tit-for-tat on production trends with Qatar given recent developments at a Persian Gulf oil and gas field, the Iranian oil minister said. Iran’s Oil Ministry last month said production started from the oil layer in the South Pars field complex in the Persian Gulf for the first time. Using a floating production and offloading vessel, or FPSO, the ministry said production could reach a net peak capacity of 35,000 barrels per day at some point this month. The oil ministry estimates the field, which Iran shares with Qatar, holds more than 14 billion barrels of oil. Oil Minister Bijan Zangeneh said on the sidelines of a conference with the Iranian […]

Gulf’s $24 Billion Bond Bonanza Meets Cash Need in Cheap Oil Era

Middle East international bond sales are off to the strongest ever start to a year as borrower demand for funds outstrips the firepower of local banks in an era of depressed oil prices. Hard-currency bond issuance from the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, which accounts for the bulk of the region’s capital markets and includes Saudi Arabia, its largest economy, more than quadrupled in the first quarter from a year earlier, according to Bloomberg data. In contrast, syndicated lending, traditionally the preferred source of capital for GCC borrowers, is having its worst year since 2010, declining 73 percent in the first three months of the year. “It is mainly the sovereigns that have issued this year and they are very conscious about not sapping liquidity in the local banking system so that access to credit to the small and medium sized companies is not hindered,” said Anita Yadav, head of […]

Qatar restarts development of world’s biggest gas field

4 Apr 2017   Qatar

Saad Al Kaabi, chief executive of Qatar Petroleum, speaks to reporters in Doha, Qatar April 3, 2017. Qatar has lifted a self-imposed moratorium on development of the world’s biggest natural gas field, the chief executive of Qatar Petroleum said on Monday, as the world’s top LNG exporter looks to see off an expected rise in competition. Qatar declared a moratorium in 2005 on the development of the North Field, which it shares with Iran, to give Doha time to study the impact on the reservoir from a rapid rise in output. The vast offshore gas field, which Doha calls the North Field and Iran calls South Pars, accounts for nearly all of Qatar’s gas production and around 60 percent of its export revenue. “We have completed most of our projects and now is a good time to lift the moratorium,” QP Chief Executive Saad al-Kaabi told reporters in Doha. […]

Qatar to increase gas production by 10 percent

4 Apr 2017   Qatar

Natural gas production from a field in the Persian Gulf will increase by 10 percent to position Qatar as a stronger energy leader, a top executive said. Qatar Petroleum said it aims to start work on a new project in the southern sector of the North Field gas project offshore. It shares the field with Iran, which calls it South Pars. Saad al-Kaabi, the company’s president and CEO, said the new project will increase North Field production by about 10 percent. “This new project will further strengthen Qatar’s leading position as a major player in the global gas industry and underline the pivotal role of the country’s oil and gas industry as the maintstay of the national […]

An Energy Giant Bigger Than Exxon in the Shadow of Saudi Aramco

10 Feb 2017   Qatar

Qatar Petroleum is the hidden giant of the global energy industry, overshadowed by its neighbor Saudi Aramco . Yet, the country’s colossal natural gas resources allow the state-run company to pump more oil and gas than Rosneft PJSC or Exxon Mobil Corp. After almost two decades of breakneck growth, the company needs to change tack. QP plans to expand abroad as domestic crude output declines and the government bars new drilling in the offshore North Field, home to the gas that made Qatar the world’s leading supplier of liquefied natural gas. QP will have no problem paying for overseas expansion. Qatar’s energy minister, Mohammed Al Sada, said this week that almost all the country’s domestic LNG terminals have been paid for. And despite a near-term glut, he said the commodity will be in short supply by 2021. What follows is a portrait of QP and its weight in world […]

Oil slump prompts Gulf states to take shine off cushy government jobs

Ahmed, a Qatari civil servant, used to arrive at his office at a government ministry in Doha late in the morning and leave for home after lunch, collecting a monthly salary of 40,000 rial ($11,000) and a generous housing and travel allowance. But last month a government official made a surprise spot check on the ministry’s offices and found dozens of employees absent. “Punctuality is a duty,” said a letter Ahmed received from the minister’s office. “Qatar expects the best of its citizens.” For a country whose tiny population is the world’s wealthiest per capita and which sits upon its largest natural gas reserves, increasing the productivity of its […]

Qatar Regains Deal Hunger With Purchases From Russia to U.K.

9 Dec 2016   Qatar

It’s not just Ivan Glasenberg who’s regained his appetite for dealmaking. Qatar, the world’s largest exporter of liquefied natural gas, is investing alongside the billionaire’s Glencore Plc in an $11 billion deal to buy 19.5 percent of Russia’s Rosneft PJSC. The Qatar Investment Authority is part of a group of investors that on Thursday agreed to take a 61 percent stake in the U.K. gas-distribution business of National Grid Plc. The sovereign wealth fund is also interested in putting money into Italian lender Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA , Il Sole 24 Ore reported. Qatar — known for making trophy European investments ranging from Credit Suisse Group AG to London department store Harrods during the days when oil was trading at more than $100 a barrel — scaled back as crude prices slumped and the government reshuffled the fund’s […]

OPEC Chief Said to Visit Iran and Qatar Before Group’s Talks

24 Aug 2016   Iran, OPEC, Qatar

OPEC’s secretary-general will visit members Iran and Qatar next month, just weeks before the group holds informal talks in Algeria, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter. Mohammed Barkindo, who became the organization’s chief diplomat this month, met earlier this week with Venezuelan Energy Minister Eulogio Del Pino, said the person, who asked not to be identified as the discussions were private. Del Pino, who has pushed the group to take action that would revive crude prices, has been touring oil-producing countries. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will meet in Algiers during an industry conference scheduled for Sept. 26 to 28. Oil prices have gained 13 percent in the past two weeks on speculation the group could revive an agreement to freeze production with non-members such as Russia, after a similar initiative collapsed in April. Barkindo’s visits were earlier reported by the Wall Street Journal. […]

Oil Product Demand In This Middle-East Nation Just Hit An All-Time High

19 Aug 2016   Qatar

Despite low crude prices, Qatar’s non-oil economy is still strong – unlike the more sluggish growth of neighboring Gulf countries – and its demand for refined oil products has more than doubled in five years with huge infrastructure investments ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup and its expansion of the civil aviation industry. Qatar’s average daily consumption of refined oil products — including gasoline and jet fuel – hit a record 228,000 barrels per day between January and May 2016, Bloomberg reports, quoting data by the Joint Organisations Data Initiative (JODI). That’s more than double the demand from 2011. Qatar is investing US$200 billion to upgrade its infrastructure for hosting the World Cup, although its treatment of migrant workers at facilities has sparked huge controversies. The country is also investing in the fleet expansion of Qatar Airways, which has pushed kerosene demand up to 113,000 barrels […]

Total, Qatar form joint venture for offshore oil

29 Jun 2016   France, Qatar

French energy company Total said Tuesday it would send its best talent to Qatar to help advance production at an offshore oil field through a new joint venture. Total signed an agreement with Qatar Petroleum to take on a 30 percent stake in a concession covering the offshore al-Shaheen field. Qatar Petroleum maintains operatorship and a 70 percent stake in a field producing about 300,000 barrels of oil per day. “This is an important recognition of Total’s technical and commercial competence, and the Group will deploy its best technical expertise and experienced teams to this field,” Total Chairman and CEO Patrick Pouyanne said in a statement. The state-owned Qatari company last […]

Shrinking Oil Revenues Prompt Gulf States to Sell Bonds

26 May 2016   Qatar, Saudi Arabia

The oil-exporting countries of the Persian Gulf, from Qatar to Saudi Arabia, are turning to the public to sell debt as shrinking oil revenues erode their budgets. Qatar, which owns some of the world’s largest gas reserves, this week plans to sell about $9 billion worth of bonds in multiyear tranches, the latest Gulf state to tap the international capital markets for fresh funds in an attempt to shore up government finances crippled by low energy prices. Qatar’s return to the markets follows the example of the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain which earlier this year sold around $6 billion worth of bonds. Saudi Arabia is also preparing to tap the international bond markets later this year, banking sources have said. It already secured a $10 billion bank loan with the help of international […]

Qatar to Scrap Fuel Subsidies in May as Decade of Surplus Ends

27 Apr 2016   Qatar

Qatar will scrap gasoline and diesel subsidies next month as the world’s richest nation per capita is set to plunge into deficit this year after more than a decade of budget surpluses. The world’s biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas is in the second year of a $200 billion infrastructure upgrade to help it host soccer’s 2022 World Cup. The decision to link transportation fuel to international prices follows a Jan. 30 percent increase in local gasoline prices for the lowest available grade. Ending subsidies aims to reduce wasteful consumption, the official Qatar News Agency reported Tuesday, citing comments by Sheikh Mishaal bin Jabor Al Thani, who heads a committee studying domestic gasoline and diesel prices. Unlike some of its oil-rich neighbors that have cut spending, Qatar will increase outlays to 35.1 percent of GDP this year compared with 33.1 percent in 2015, according to the International Monetary Fund. […]

Qatar’s Oil-Freeze Letter to Norway Reveals Logic of Doha Deal

14 Apr 2016   Norway, Qatar

The preliminary agreement by Russia, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Qatar to freeze output has already put a floor under crude prices and a deal this weekend to include other producers would extend the recovery, according to Qatar’s Energy Ministry. Analysts and traders have puzzled over exactly why oil producers have devoted so much diplomatic energy to the meeting in Doha on April 17, when the consensus is that the freeze would have little immediate impact on crude production. The letter — an invitation to the Doha meeting that Norway declined — gives some answers. Qatar, which is hosting talks between at least 15 countries to finalize the accord, told Norway’s Ministry of Petroleum and Energy that the plan to cap output at January levels has already “changed the sentiment of the oil market,” according to a letter from Energy Minister Mohammed Al Sada obtained by Bloomberg through a freedom-of-information […]

The GCC Seeks Cohesion With Renewed Urgency

For the Gulf states, maintaining unity becomes all the more important amid economic slowdown. Click here to continue reading… Stratfor provides global awareness and guidance to individuals, governments and businesses around the world. We use a unique, intel-based approach to analyze world affairs. Copyright © 2016 Stratfor Global Intelligence, All rights reserved. Our mailing address is: P.O. Box 92529 – Austin, Texas 78709-2529, USA unsubscribe from this list update subscription preferences | forward email

Arab States Face $94 Billion Debt Crunch on Oil Slump, HSBC Says

Gulf Cooperation Council countries may struggle to refinance $94 billion of debt in the next two years as the region faces slowing growth, rising rates and rating downgrades, according to HSBC Holdings Plc. Oil-rich GCC states have to refinance $52 billion of bonds and $42 billion of syndicated loans, mostly in the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, HSBC said in an e-mailed report. The countries also face a fiscal and current account deficit of $395 billion over the period, it said. Expectations that these funding gaps “will be part financed through the sale of sovereign U.S. dollar debt will complicate efforts to refinance existing paper that matures over 2016 and 2017,” Simon Williams, HSBC’s chief economist for the Middle East, said in the report. “With the Gulf acting as a single credit market, the refinancing challenge will likely be much more broadly felt” and “compounded by tightening regional liquidity, […]

Venezuela talks oil prices with Qatar, Oman; to meets Saudis

Venezuelan Oil Minister Eulogio Del Pino, on a tour of oil producers to lobby for action to prop up prices, said on Thursday he had a “good and productive” meeting with his Qatari counterpart. The Qatari ministry also said the two ministers “exchanged views and expectations in the short and long term”, but gave no further details. Qatar’s Energy Minister Mohammed al-Sada is the current holder of the rotating OPEC presidency. Del Pino later met Oman’s Oil Minister Mohammad bin Hamad al-Rumhy, who “reiterated his support of the actions Venezuela has taken to stabilize the market,” according to statements from the Oil Minister and state oil company PDVSA [PDVSA.UL], over which Del Pino presides. […]

Gloom descends on Gulf as oil price slump hits economy

A caustic slogan is doing the rounds on social networks in the Gulf states this festive season: “All I want for Christmas is for oil prices to go up.”  Gloom has descended on the region amid an oil price rout that has halved the price of crude over 18 months and wiped $360bn off export earnings just this past year.  State contractors, the property sector and even foreign investors have all felt the pain as the slump pushes governments to cut back spending.  “2015 has been a difficult year, but this is just the beginning of a multiyear adjustment process: 2016 will be just as tough, and then there is 2017 and 2018,” says Masood Ahmed, the International Monetary Fund director for the Gulf region. “Next year the slowdown is not going to ease up.”  Swingeing spending cuts have unnerved private businesses in Saudi Arabia, the region’s largest economy, and elsewhere — as well as undermining the policy of government largesse long used to defuse social tensions.

Arab Gulf countries to discuss unifying oil product pricing

The six oil ministries from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries will meet Wednesday to discuss the possibility of unifying the prices of oil products, Kuwait’s oil ministry said in a statement late Sunday. The meeting, planned for Doha will be attended by undersecretaries from each of the ministries — from Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia andthe United Arab Emirates– according to state-run KUNA news agency. The group will review a memo prepared with the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC) to increase cooperation on energy and petroleum strategy. The Kuwaiti ministry highlighted the importance of the Doha meeting in light of rapid changes in the global oil industry and the need for stability, KUNA reported. Article continues below… Oilgram News brings you fast-breaking global petroleum and gas news on and including: Industry players, upstream and downstream markets, refineries, midstream transportation and financial reports Supply and demand […]

Liquid Gold – Qatar’s Natural Gas

27 Jul 2015   Qatar

Qatar has recently passed Lichtenstein to occupy the position as the world’s wealthiest nation. Despite claims from tourist sites that the country owes its economic fame to the 19th century pearl industry , the true source of Qatar’s fortunes lies under its windswept sands. Qatar, it is estimated, has the largest non-associated (i.e., not found with oil) natural gas fields in the world. The primary company charged with excavating and exporting the natural gas, is Qatar’s domestic Qatargas which, despite being partially owned by foreign investors, serves to fill the country’s coffers. Established in 1984, just 10 years after Qatar nationalized its energy resources, Qatargas pioneered the technique of creating liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the Middle East. Today, Qatargas is the largest producer of LNG on the planet. Natural gas has substantially contributed to building Qatar’s national identity. From the futuristic skyline of Doha to the extravagant lifestyle […]

Qatar Risks Budget Deficit in 2016 Due to Low Oil Prices, IMF Says

3 Apr 2015   Qatar

The Qatari government risks posting a budget deficit in 2016 as low oil prices continue to pose a challenge to energy-dependent nations, the International Monetary Fund said. Qatar is the world’s largest exporter of liquefied natural gas and those revenues have allowed the Persian Gulf nation to pour billions of dollars into the country’s infrastructure as it tries to reduce its dependence on energy-related income and as it prepares to host the soccer World Cup in 2022 . For years, Qatar benefited from an oil price that hovered above $100 a barrel but in the past six months that fell to about $60 . More than 90% of Qatar’s budget revenues and exports stem from activities tied to […]

Pakistan Close to Agreement With Qatar Over LNG Supplies for Power Plants

Pakistan is close to striking a long-term deal worth potentially $22.5 billion or more to import liquefied natural gas to help fuel the country’s power stations and ease its crippling electricity crisis, Pakistan’s top energy official said. “We are negotiating with Qatar and a few other sources,” said Pakistani Petroleum Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. “The deal will be very competitive and very beneficial for Pakistan.” An agreement with Qatar is expected by early March, Pakistani officials say. Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif came to office in May 2013 on a pledge to reduce the country’s electricity shortages, which see power regularly cut to homes and businesses for eight or more hours a day. Tackling the electricity deficit, however, has thus far largely eluded Mr. Sharif’s government. The government has promised to eradicate the electricity shutdowns, known as load shedding, by the […]

Qatar, Shell Scrap $6.5 Billion Project Amid Oil Collapse

15 Jan 2015   Qatar

Qatar Petroleum and Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) called off plans to build a $6.5 billion petrochemical plant in the emirate, saying the project is no longer commercially feasible amid the upheaval in global energy markets. The companies formed a partnership for the al-Karaana project in 2011 and planned to operate it as a joint venture, with state-run QP owning 80 percent and Shell the remaining 20 percent. They decided not to proceed after evaluating quotations from bidders for engineering and construction work, the companies said today in a joint statement. The expected capital cost of the petrochemical complex planned in Ras Laffan industrial city “has rendered it commercially unfeasible, particularly in the current economic climate prevailing in the energy industry ,” they said. Al-Karaana is the second petrochemical project in Qatar to be canceled in recent months due to unfavorable economics. Industries Qatar, the state-controlled petrochemical and steel […]

Age of Plenty Seen Over for Gulf Arabs as Oil Tumbles

The boom that adorned Gulf Arab monarchies with glittering towers, swelled their sovereign funds and kept unrest largely at bay may be over after oil prices dropped by almost 50 percent in the last six months. The sheikhdoms have used the oil wealth to remake their region. Landmarks include man-made islands on reclaimed land, as well as financial centers, airports and ports that turned the Arabian desert into a banking and travel hub. The money was also deployed to ward off social unrest that spread through the Middle East during the Arab Spring. “The region has had 10 years of abundance,” said Simon Williams , HSBC Holdings Plc’s chief economist for central and eastern Europe , the Middle East and North Africa. “But that decade of plenty is done. The drop in oil prices will hurt performance in the near term, even if the Gulf’s buffers are powerful enough […]