“It only highlights a real bright spot for U.S. natural gas producers as we ramp up our export capacity,” Kilduff said. “U.S. shale producers of natural gas are getting ready to do to the global gas market what U.S. shale oil producers have done to OPEC.”
Meanwhile, oil prices have not been affected by the situation. “Qatar is a big player in LNG but a small player in crude oil, if you exclude their ownership stake in Rosneft,” said Kilduff.
About 60 percent of Qatar’s LNG exports go to Asia, and those shipments do not go through the Suez Canal, according to RBC.
Separately, Reuters reported that Royal Dutch Shell altered its shipments of LNG, sending a U.S. cargo ship to supply the Dubai Supply Authority instead of the usual Qatar-sourced shipment. Reuters also reported that the Qatari fleet of LNG vessels anchored off the UAE’s Fujairah port prior to the diplomatic rift have moved out. They are currently offshore at Qatar’s Ras Laffan facility, and the number of tankers anchored there has risen to 17 from seven since Monday, according to Reuters.
Several Saudi-led Arab states abruptly cut off ties to tiny Qatar earlier this week. The fight has become a proxy for states split by their sympathies for or against Iran. Turkey,
Saudi Arabia and the UAE have banned Qatari planes from their airspace, so Turkey and Iran are critical supporters for Qatar, which is having a hard time importing food and other necessities. Saudi Arabia has issued demands of Qatar, including ending relations with Iran, breaking all ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and expelling all members of Hamas, according to an Al Jazeera report. It also demands Qatar shut down broadcaster Al Jazeera, which came under cyber attack Thursday.
The catalyst for the rift with Qatar was an alleged statement by Qatar’s emir that criticized Saudi Arabia and President Donald Trump, who recently visited Saudi Arabia
“We’ve had very strained relations between Saudi and Qatar, but this sparks an absolute new low in relations,” said Croft. “Literally, when they’re having a hard time securing food shipments, this is a dire crisis right now. I strain to see an easy off-ramp.”
Watch: Oil likely to stay in the mid-$40s