DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – State-run Qatar Petroleum sought to reassure the public on Saturday, saying its production of oil and gas has not been impacted by tensions in the Gulf that saw several Arab states block their airspace, ports and shipping lanes to Qatar.
Continue Reading Below
Qatar Petroleum said it "immediately mobilized all available resources" to mitigate the impact of any action that could hamper its energy supplies to customers around the world.
More than a third of the world's liquefied natural gas trade comes from Qatar, making it the world's largest producer and exporter of LNG. Countries across the world — including Japan, China, Pakistan, the UK, France, Turkey, Brazil and Argentina — rely on the state-run corporation for much of their energy needs.
Most of Qatar's gas exports go to Asia via sea — 72 percent according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Analysts have said there are no signs that Qatar's neighbors want to escalate the spat by blockading its ships.
The OPEC member's daily production of oil is relatively small, around 0.6 million barrels, compared to its neighbors like Saudi Arabia, which typically produces some 10 million barrels each day.
Qatar Petroleum said it "wishes to affirm that it is conducting business as usual," adding that it remains committed to being a stable energy producer.
Continue Reading Below
"We are closely monitoring and assessing all developments, and are prepared to take the necessary decisions and measures, should the need arise, to ensure that we always honor our commitments and obligations to all our customers and partners locally, regionally, and internationally," the statement said.
Earlier this week, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain unleashed a raft of punitive measure against Qatar, severing diplomatic ties and accusing it of supporting terrorism in the region. Saudi Arabia also sealed Qatar's only land border, a key passageway for food imports.
Qatar denies it has backed extremist groups and says the allegations are based on fabricated news and politically motivated.
Despite the standoff, Qatar's gas supplies to Egypt and the UAE have reportedly not been interrupted.
Qatar is extremely wealthy, generating most of its income from natural gas. The small peninsula nation is also a regional financial and aviation hub, and set to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Qatar shares control of a vast underwater gas field with Iran, which lies on the other side of the Persian Gulf. The two countries maintain diplomatic relations — a source of contention for Saudi Arabia, which views Iran as its regional foe and has worked to line up allied Sunni Arab states against it.
In April, Qatar Petroleum's President and CEO Saad Sherida al-Kaabi told The Associated Press that Qatar and Iran "have an excellent political relationship" as well as an "excellent technical relationship."
He also heaped praise on U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, calling him a "good friend" that Qatar had gotten to know well during his time at the helm of Exxon Mobil.
On Friday, Tillerson urged Qatar's neighbors to ease their blockade and called for "calm and thoughtful dialogue." Hours later, U.S. President Donald Trump threw his support behind the Saudi-led bloc, saying the time had come for Qatar to end its funding of extremist groups and ideology.