“This Is Much More Than A Spat”: What The Qatar Crisis Means For Global Energy Markets

We and quite a few others have spent a lot of time discussing the spat between Qatar and its neighbors.

As noted first thing Monday morning, Qatar’s finance minister wants you think there’s nothing to see here. It’s “business as usual in Doha,” Ali Shareef Al Emadi told CNBC.

“Our reserves and investment funds are more than 250 percent of gross domestic product, so I don’t think there is any reason that people need to be concerned about what’s happening or any speculation on the Qatari riyal,” he added. “We are extremely comfortable with our positions, our investments and liquidity in our systems.”

And then he made a fun threat:  “A lot of people think we’re the only ones to lose in this. If we’re going to lose a dollar, they will lose a dollar also. “We are going to make sure that we are even more diversified than we were before.” For more on the dollar crunch and “diversification,” see “‘Send Your Savings To Me Now’: Qatar Hit With Dollar, Food Shortage Amid Bank Squeeze.”

Be that as it may, there’s no denying that this is a tenuous situation and there’s little question that if the goal was to somehow impede Iran’s progress in expanding its regional influence, it’s probably fair to say that effort has backfired spectacularly as outlined in the linked post above and also in “Did The Saudis Make A Huge Mistake? Qatar Move Backfires As Iran Steps Up.”

One of the big unknowns here is what, if any, effect this will have on the OPEC production cut agreement and on energy markets more generally. Of course all sides are saying the agreement won’t be derailed, but that seems far-fetched. I mean it may not fall apart completely, but to say they’ll be no impact whatsoever seems like a patently absurd suggestion.

The rhetoric out of Riyadh and Moscow with regard to the ever-elusive “balancing of global markets” remains the same despite the fact that rising US production and overflowing inventories continue to weigh (heavily) on sentiment.

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Author: Travis Esquivel

Travis Esquivel is an engineer, passionate soccer player and full-time dad. He enjoys writing about innovation and technology from time to time.

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