Browsing 'qatar petroleum' News

QP/Facebook

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

The ongoing political and economic isolation of Qatar has only made the country and its people stronger, the president and CEO of Qatar Petroleum has said.

Speaking to Al Jazeera, Saad Sherida Al Kaabi said the Gulf crisis has not affected Qatar’s LNG exports.

Listing 18 countries that rely on Doha’s reserves, including Japan, China, Germany and the UK, he added, “There is not a buyer of LNG that does not call on Qatar to supply it.”

Al Kaabi even expressed gratitude to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the UAE for taking action against his country.

“I would like to thank the four countries for their blockade, because it has made Qatar stronger, the people of Qatar stronger, their businesses stronger. We will come out of this much stronger than before,” he said.

Economic cost

Despite Al Kaabi’s remarks, Qatari officials have previously conceded that the boycott has raised expenses for the government.

For example, earlier this month Qatar’s foreign minister said it costs 10 times as much money to import food and medicine since the blockade started.

Al Meera

Turkish dairy products

The government is footing most of that bill to keep prices down for residents, he added at the time.

This is not great news for Qatar, which before the crisis had been slashing budgets amid lower global oil prices.

But officials have stressed that they have the resources to handle the challenge.

And some analysts have previously forecast that the country could ride out an economic embargo from its neighbors for months or even years.

Financial toll aside, the blockade has helped bolster Qatar’s image abroad, in that many nations have not sided with the quartet on their action.

Broken trust

Also yesterday, Al Kaabi affirmed that Qatar has no plans to cut off gas to the UAE, which depends heavily on Qatar’s gas to power its nation.

Legally, QP has that option, but “if you stop the gas, the biggest harm is to the people of the UAE. The people of the UAE are cousins, relatives, and friends … and we have nothing against them,” the CEO said.

Pixabay

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Still, that doesn’t mean Qatar will forgive and forget everything that has transpired over the past seven weeks.

“The trust that we have built over the years has been broken overnight,” Al Kaabi told Al Jazeera.

Thoughts?

RasGas

Helium 2 Plant

Qatar has stopped producing helium gas at its two processing plants as a direct result of the blockading of its border with Saudi Arabia.

An unnamed official from Qatar Petroleum told Reuters that the plants were shut because Saudi Arabia had blocked overland exports of the gas.

The neighboring country, as well as the UAE and Bahrain, have sought to boycott Qatar to challenge its political leanings.

Qatar is the world’s second largest helium producer, after the US.

RasGas

Helium 2 Plant

Demand for the gas has grown in recent years as it being increasingly used for medical and technological purposes.

Qatar’s two plants, run by RasGas, can meet about 25 percent of the total world demand for the gas, according to RasGas’ website.

Helium shortage

Helium gas is also used in nuclear power production and deep-water diving.

Michael Pereckas / Flickr

A Helium canister

Qatar’s decision to close its processing plants may have an impact on global stocks of the gas, which is already in short supply.

In the past, doctors have called for a ban on the use of helium in balloons, in order to preserve finite stocks for other purposes.

Thoughts?

RasGas

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Qatar’s two largest liquified natural gas (LNG) producers will merge into one company over the next 12 months to cut costs, officials have announced.

Qatar Petroleum’s RasGas and Qatargas will now be joined into a single entity called Qatargas, QP’s CEO said today.

No immediate job cuts are expected, but may occur once the new structure is in place, Saad Al Kaabi clarified, according to Reuters.

Qatar Petroleum/Facebook

QP CEO Saad al-Kaabi

Speaking to reporters at a news conference this morning, the official added that the move would save “hundreds of millions of dollars” and increase competitiveness in the market.

In a statement, he added that “the integration aims to create a truly unique global energy operator in terms of size, service and reliability.”

‘Right-sizing’

Falling global oil prices have caused many of Qatar’s energy companies to slash budgets and headcounts in recent years.

Since November 2014, QP has laid off some 3,000 staffers, and its subsidiary RasGas has also cut hundreds of jobs.

Plans for a corporate restructure are understood to have begun before global oil prices took a tumble.

However, as the world’s largest producer and exporter of liquified natural gas (LNG), Qatar has felt the impact of the dip. Speaking about the layoffs last year, Al Kaabi said:

“While we have no control over markets and prices, we do have control over our costs and expenditure. This will be a stable organization going forward.”

Thoughts?