Qatar is a good example of a successful country that mostly lives off exports of natural resources

16 august 2016

The Fuel and Energy Sector of Russia journal has published an article penned by Analytical Center experts Alexander Kurdin and Svyatoslav Pikh titled Qatar’s Energy Policy: the Strategy of Selling LNG in Europe and Asia. The authors conclude that as of 2015 Qatar had the largest fleet of LNG vessels, an important consideration in a global market where emphasis is quickly shifting towards liquefied natural gas.

Qatar’s active exports policy and reorientation towards the Asian markets in the past 3-4 years have resulted in a number of changes not just in Asia Pacific but in the rest of the world as well. The Analytical Center experts believe that the changes in the policy of the world’s largest exporter of natural gas are having a significant impact both on the situation in the global natural gas markets (the prices are falling, and a global single market is emerging) and on the economic and even political situation in many countries.

A large role of exports of natural resources in a national economy is often associated with slow social and economic development, technological backwardness and, as a result, inability to join the big league of the developed nations. Qatar is one country that has been successfully challenging this stereotype. In the past 20-25 years it has been thanks to the development of modern natural gas production and delivery technologies that the country has managed to become a regional and industry leader. Today Qatar plays a key role both in the Middle Eastern politics and in the relations between oil exporting nations: the country’s social and economic success is very much in evidence.

And yet, Qatar remains vulnerable: the political and economic prosperity depends on the potential of its natural gas exports. So the importance of strategic planning in this field can hardly be overestimated for the state. Until the early 2010s the country’s positions had been getting stronger and stronger but free competition on price and integration of the markets, both developments playing a key role in allowing Qatar to carve out its market share, can now play against it. The competitive advantages of LNG are no longer a constant either, so the emirate’s NG policy is also facing some new challenges now.

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