Saturday, April 13, 2024
 
 

Russia takes pass on Qatar conflict with Arab neighbours

Oil, natural gas catalyst for walking the line

- Advertisement -

MOSCOW – Russia, which has called for dialogue to tackle the political rift in the Arab world over Qatar, will not take sides in the conflict between Doha and its neighbours, Chris Weafer, a partner at Macro-Advisory told New Europe in Moscow. “It doesn’t need to. But I understand it has let it be known it is available to host mediation talks if asked by both sides,” he said.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain have imposed measures to isolate Qatar, accusing Doha of supporting terrorism. Doha denies the accusation.

Qatar is a major producer of natural gas and the world’s top exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG).

“Since the west imposed sanctions and Beijing was cool to the China-pivot in 2014, the Kremlin has pursued a diversification strategy in both trade and politics,” Weafer said, adding that this is one of the main reasons Russian President Vladimir Putin twisted Rosneft President Igor Sechin‘s arm to cooperate with the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) deal last November.

Sechin, who is the chief executive officer of Russia’s biggest oil producer, initially opposed the deal but has since become a supporter, Weafer said, explaining that the Rosneft CEO changed his mind “since Rosneft made a lot of money because of it”.

“For Putin the OPEC deal is both good politics and good economics. The latter because Russia has earned $2.25 billion more per month over the past six months with the average price at $54 per barrel than it would have with a $45 per barrel average,” Weafer said. “The former because the Arab states have not criticised Moscow’s involvement in Syria since the November deal was announced,” the partner at the Moscow-based consultancy added.

“Moscow is in a sort of sweet-spot in the Middle-East right now. It has finally achieved good relations with Riyadh, after two and a half decades of antagonism. Qatar is a major investor in Rosneft and Abu Dhabi is a big investor in the Russian economy,” Weafer said. “In addition it has better relations with Iran and Turkey than any western state and is close to both the Egyptian government and the faction controlling the oil provinces in eastern Libya. It also counts Israel as an ally,” he said, stressing that “it would be an act of great foolishness to now take sides and risk current friendships and tolerances”.

“Realistically the only way for Qatar to pipe its gas to Europe is either across Saudi and Egypt – obviously never going to happen – or across Iran and Turkey – Iran would never agree to that – or via Iraq-Syria. Moscow would block that,” he said.

According to Weafer, Qatar’s past, present and future role in gas is in LNG plus the Dolphin pipeline, which links Qatar’s giant North Field with the UAE and Oman, “to fuel the power plants that keep Dubai’s lights on”.

Qatar said earlier in June it has no plan to shut the Dolphin pipeline that pumps around 2 billion cubic feet of gas per day to the UAE.

Qatar’s state-owned Mubadala Development Company owns 51% of Dolphin, while French oil giant Total and Houston-based Occidental each have 24.5%.

Meanwhile, Weafer said he expects the Russian oil companies to be less compliant with the OPEC deal extension as the price has slipped below $48 and US Shale is gaining market share.

follow on twitter @energyinsider

 

 

 

 

- Advertisement -

Subscribe to our newsletter

Co-founder / Director of Energy & Climate Policy and Security at NE Global Media

Latest

Western corporations must be held accountable for their role in China’s Uyghur genocide

In recent testimony before the Senate, U.S. Treasury Secretary...

New U.S.-Japan-Philippines Pacific bulwark established

The leaders of Japan, the Philippines, and the United...

The influence of Russia’s nuclear industry steadily expanding in Turkey

Turkey's decision last month that Russian State Atomic Energy...

Don't miss

Western corporations must be held accountable for their role in China’s Uyghur genocide

In recent testimony before the Senate, U.S. Treasury Secretary...

New U.S.-Japan-Philippines Pacific bulwark established

The leaders of Japan, the Philippines, and the United...

The influence of Russia’s nuclear industry steadily expanding in Turkey

Turkey's decision last month that Russian State Atomic Energy...

Kyrgyz “Foreign Representatives Law” enacted amid criticism

On April 2, Kyrgyz President Sadyr Japarov announced that...

EU, U.S., Uzbekistan and other partners strengthen critical raw materials cooperation

The European Union, the United States, and other Minerals Security Partnership (MSP) partners, joined by Kazakhstan, Namibia, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan, officially launched the Minerals...

The influence of Russia’s nuclear industry steadily expanding in Turkey

Turkey's decision last month that Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom will build the country’s second nuclear power plant, most likely at a site...

Pro-nuclear leaders push atomic energy to cut CO2 emissions, boost security of supply

A global push to expand nuclear power continued recently as world leaders from more than 30 countries and the European Union met at the...

U.S. zeroes in on Houthi revenue sources

The U.S. Government made several announcements this month regarding new sanctions on Houthi revenue sources, building on steps taken in coordination with the U.K....

Can Innovation Diplomacy End the Climate Gamble?

With today’s global challenges urging equally global responses, an overlooked subset of diplomacy emerges as potentially pivotal: innovation diplomacy, a discipline related to the...

U.S. joins International Coalition for the Return of Ukrainian Children

On March 7, the office of the spokesperson at the U.S. Department of State issued a media note, clearly meant to be circulated in...

Eyeing competitors, OPEC+ countries will keep cutting oil production

Several OPEC+ countries are extending additional voluntary cuts of 2.2 million barrels per day, aimed at supporting what they are labeling "the stability and...

EU Parliament strives to protect energy market from manipulation

Responding to the energy crisis exacerbated by Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the European Parliament approved on February 29 legislation to tackle energy market manipulation...