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Retreating OPEC Qatar Aims at Pricing Power of Natural Gas

Source:Iris Liang Time:2018-12-7 10:31:18

On December 3, Qatar announced that it will withdraw from OPEC in 2019. For a time, the international crude oil market changed dramatically, and the inventory data from Genscape showed that the US Cushing crude oil inventories increased by 1.6 million barrels last week, and the crude oil market fell. This means that in the future, the market will prefer to use clean energy to cope with global climate and environmental degradation. This coincides with the concept of SEKO Machinery. Large-diameter stainless steel welded pipe off-line black annealing equipment uses induction heating coils, which does not require preheating in advance, which can help the enterprise owner to save a lot of cost. The equipment can be used to process large-diameter pipelines that transport natural gas, ready for the new energy era.
Qatar Energy Minister Kabi announced that Qatar will withdraw from OPEC from January 2019

The heart of Cartel’s “retreat” lies in the pricing power of natural gas.

Since the fiscal revenues of the major oil-producing countries in the Gulf countries are heavily dependent on crude oil export trade, and the income is more or less inseparable from the international oil prices controlled by OPEC, they have to unite in Saudi Arabia, one of the two powers of OPEC, to follow Saudi Arabia. Policy decisions are made to protect their own interests.

However, although Qatar is also listed as an OPEC member, it does not need to be constrained by this factor. Qatar's oil production is currently ranked 11th in OPEC, and oil production accounts for 1.83% of OPEC's total production. Qatar's production in October was about 610,000 barrels per day, which is almost insignificant compared to Saudi Arabia, which has a new oil production of 11.2 million barrels per day.

On the other hand, Qatar is the third largest natural gas reserve country in the world after Russia and Iran, with a total reserve of 24.5 trillion cubic meters, accounting for 13%. Qatar is the world's largest exporter of LNG. The current annual export capacity is 77 million tons, accounting for about 30% of the world's total exports, which is three times the US export volume.

For Qatar, its main need is to influence the pricing power of the international natural gas market. The current international natural gas price lacks the same price-affecting institutions as OPEC in the international crude oil market. Filling this gap is an important goal of Qatar.

In order to achieve this goal, in 2001, Qatar teamed up with Iran and Russia to establish the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) in Tehran, the capital of India. The headquarters is located in Doha, Qatar, and the natural gas reserves of Russia, Iran and Qatar. It accounts for 57% of the world's total. On this basis, the member states of the Moscow Ministerial Conference on December 23, 2008 passed the organization charter, and GECF officially became the natural gas industry OPEC with 12 member countries covering 70% of the world's natural gas reserves.

The international energy landscape will undergo a profound transformation

Since the second industrial revolution, oil has gradually replaced the status of coal's energy hegemony and has become the most important pillar of the modern economy. However, due to its non-renewability, according to the existing reserves, it is still available for human use for 30-50 years. In recent years, the international crude oil market has experienced violent fluctuations. Under the new international energy structure, the highly regarded “world oil depot” in the Middle East has declined and the economy has been hit hard.
Fluctuations in oil prices caused by changes in the international energy pattern have led to a slowdown in economic growth in major oil-producing countries in the Middle East, a sharp deterioration in fiscal conditions, a sharp decline in foreign exchange reserves, and a repeated decline in sovereign credit ratings. In recent years, the implementation of the oil-producing country's production reduction agreement has not stimulated the international oil price. As Qatar's “retreat”, it further confirms OPEC's influence on the international energy market. The future prospects of the Middle East oil-producing countries' financial situation will be full. Uncertainty.

At the same time, almost every year in Europe, the gas shortage, the price of natural gas in the United States and China is also high, the market demand is huge and the price is attractive. In November, the price of liquefied natural gas (LNG) at the Shanghai Oil and Gas Trading Center reached 4,613 yuan / ton, breaking through the high point (4,400 yuan / ton) set last year when the "gas shortage". Behind the soaring price, China's high-quality development transformation has seen a sharp rise in demand for clean energy. In the first eight months of this year, China's natural gas import growth rate was nearly 40%. The surge in demand in China has become the most important factor driving the market's upward movement.

It is precisely because of this situation that Qatar makes full use of its location advantages to adjust the energy output structure to cope with changes in the situation at home and abroad. As early as July 2017, Qatar announced that it would significantly increase its production of LNG, which is an increase of nearly 30% from 100,000 tons with an annual output of 7700 to 2024. And on this basis, actively seek to have a greater impact in the formation of the global natural gas pricing mechanism.

Behind the changes in the international energy market is a major transformation of the global energy landscape. The impact of Qatar's flexible turnaround on traditional energy organizations is unprecedented. As the world's most important energy export destination, the winds and waves of the Persian Gulf region will seriously affect the global economic operation, and the game and conflicts surrounding energy will be launched in a new situation. Qatar will retreat from OPEC or will be a New beginning.

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Iris Liang
SEKO Machinery & Technology Co., Ltd
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