UAE energy chief downplays gas shortfall amid Qatar standoff

EnergyAssociated Press

The United Arab Emirates' energy minister says his country has sufficient resources to ward off any energy shortfall stemming from Gulf countries' standoff with key gas supplier Qatar.

Suhail al-Mazrouei told The Associated Press in Paris on Thursday that the UAE has "a backup plan that we can source fuel from." The UAE, he insisted, has no concerns about any shortfall "now or ever."

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Qatar, increasingly isolated by its neighbors over accusations it sponsors Islamic extremism, supplies about a third of UAE's daily natural gas needs.

The minister, speaking on the sidelines of an International Energy Agency conference, refused to comment further on the Qatar crisis.

Qatar could retaliate by cutting gas supplies, making it difficult to power air conditioners or run desalination plants producing water for desert sheikhdoms.

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This story has been corrected to correct spelling of minister's name.