The sudden tension between the Gulf Nations and Qatar due to the latter’s prolific support for Islamist movements is likely to eventually, if not immediately, impact oil and gas shipments from the area. However, as one of the smallest crude oil producers in OPEC, Qatar’s decision to exit the OPEC deal will not produce much of an impact, especially because the big players like Saudi Arabia and the UAE continue to dominate the market.
As the biggest shipper of liquefied natural gas and one of the world’s largest exporters of natural gas, Qatar’s energy exports are not likely to be disrupted much because most are shipped by seaborne tankers. However, natural gas sent through a pipeline to UAE from Qatar might get affected by the escalating tension between the two regions.
According to some recent reports from the Eurasia Group, countries like Saudi Arabia and the UAE that are emboldened by the U.S President Donald Trump’s support, are extremely unlikely to accept anything but absolute capitulation from Qatar on foreign policy issues. “The small Gulf state will basically need to establish new trade links to sustain its economy. Over the short term, there are few policy options to sufficiently mitigate damage,” Eurasia Group analysts said.