‘Energy’ key issue in Qatar crisis - ERDAL TANAS KARAGÖL

‘Energy’ key issue in Qatar crisis


The effect of the diplomatic blockade on Qatar is increasingly expanding. When we look at the accusations directed at the country, it is very clear that there are different reasons behind the blockade. The most important reason is that Qatar is rising in the natural gas field, especially in liquefied natural gas (LNG).

We should not underrate LNG, as it provides much more flexible trade opportunities than pipelines. Natural gas cannot be transported through pipelines to every country or region, but LNG can easily be delivered to many countries in the world through ships.

 

The Gulf states want to prevent the countries that will be influent in LNG exports by blockading the exports of countries that carry LNG to the world. These Gulf states and those who guide them know that Qatar is the strongest country in this area and that this ability has added great strength to its economy.

Qatar has been very successful in transforming LNG potential in to economic gains in recent years. It has also high per capita income. With energy collaborations in the international arena, it has raised the potential of increasing its national income considerably. We do not mention an economic power alone, as the economic power provided by the energy supply also means political power.

Qatar has both the largest market share in terms of LNG exports with 72 percent and an important position in the European market as well as in Asian countries. We are talking about Qatar as the most important LNG player and even the biggest competitor of the U.S. which will enter this market.

We prepared a report titled, "Place of LNG in World Energy Trading," together with Salihe Kaya and published by SETA Foundation, with emphasis on the fact that Qatar is the most important player in the LNG field. One of the issues in that stood out during the preparation was that LNG has the potential to create crises like oil and natural gas.

Acquiring an increasingly important place in world energy markets, LNG may change the energy equation in the world, namely energy players and energy policies, and create many regional crises like the Qatar crisis. When we look at the recent Qatar crisis, we see that it really is.

 

Qatar’s LNG exports offer significant opportunities for importing countries in terms of increasing resource diversity, and reducing dependence on one or more countries. It is also evident that this situation has caused many countries considered to have a say in the energy field to redefine themselves and to review their situation.

On the other hand, many importer countries that meet natural gas demands have come to see Qatar as an alternative and the most important source country for energy supply security. While Turkey is developing alternatives for energy supply security with the LNG terminals it has established, it is trading LNG with Qatar.

Not only Turkey’s, but also Qatar's market share is rising. Qatar has gained a strong position both among the region’s countries and the Asian and Pacific markets by turning toward China and India in recent years, as well as Japan and South Korea.

Hence, both the actualization of economic growth in various countries in the world, especially in Asian countries, and the increase in demand for LNG have enabled Qatar to gain considerable power in the energy market and become an economic power. This means a more independent Qatar.

The main reason why the Gulf states are in solidarity against Qatar is the possibility of the handover of economic power in the Gulf region. This deeply affects both the Gulf states and the countries that have control of these states.

Economic growth in first quarter of 2017

Turkish economic data for the first quarter of 2017 will be announced today. Although the first quarter data corresponded to the referendum process, both the increase in exports and the more-than-2-percent increase in the industrial production index compared to the same month of the previous year indicate that the economy will grow by more than 3 percent in the first quarter.

The incentives provided, the supports given by the Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises Development Organization (KOSGEB) and the positive trend in the global economy will boost exports. However, the positive effect of these factors will be mainly seen in the second quarter. Therefore, we can foresee that this positive process of economic growth in the second quarter will accelerate even more.

In addition, the fact that uncertainties will be reduced by the new road map to be presented by the government for 2017 will also contribute to this positive process.

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