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If Riyadh and the UAE raise the ante, then it might raise questions about the pipeline's future.Egypt gets two-thirds of its gas needs, some 4.4 MT in 2016, from Qatar on short-term and spot prices.Two export markets, Kuwait and Turkey, are secure due to better political relations.
The crisis is a reminder to everyone in Asia that the Middle East is not stable, that everything could change within days.” One scenario that would deepen the crisis still further is a lockdown of the Dolphin gas pipeline, which runs between Qatar and some of its fiercest critics.
While two-thirds of Qatari LNG is bound for Asia and Europe, around 10 percent is destined for the Middle East.
The blockade of Qatar, led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, has already had an economic impact.
Qatar, the world’s second largest producer of helium, has stopped production at its two plants as it cannot export gas by land.
Qatar Airways can no longer fly to 18 destinations.
Qatari banks are feeling the pinch, particularly the Qatar National Bank (QNB), the region’s largest by assets, and Doha Bank: both have extensive networks across countries which are members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
Moody’s followed suit, placing Qatar’s AA long-term foreign and local currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) on rating watch negative. It has plenty of financial muscle, not least in its sovereign wealth fund, the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), which holds an estimated 3.7 billion, according to the Institute of International Finance.
The seed capital for that fund comes from Qatar’s oil and gas exports.
The remaining exports are on short-term or spot prices that are dictated by the international markets.
Sources within the shipping industry speculate that some deals may have been called off or delayed: there have been reports from insurance and petrochemical companies that 17 LNG vessels are now moored off Qatar’s Ras Laffan LNG port - a much higher number than the usual six or seven vessels.