One of the wealthiest countries getting even richer due to Ukraine war

DOHA (Parliament Politics Magazine) – Qatar’s hosting of the World Cup is a success, but Europe’s quest to replace Russian natural gas will give the Gulf state genuine clout.

Passengers can see the brand new 80,000-seat stadium rising out of the desert as planes descend into Doha, which will host the World Cup final in December. Another dramatic image they may notice is tankers lining up in the Persian Gulf to gather super-chilled natural gas.

Despite the fact that football and an increasingly important fuel have little in common, they are coming together to offer Qatar a global clout. Qatar’s reputation as a much-coveted gas provider is promising to turn the tiny peninsula into the greater player it has long desired to be, as the World Cup demonstrates its potential to gain international recognition.

Soaring oil prices as a result of the Ukraine conflict have benefitted Middle Eastern oil producers like Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, but Qatar stands out as the outstanding winner after Putin’s invasion prompted Europe to begin weaning itself off Russian energy imports.

In recent weeks, several senior European Union officials have gone to Doha with a clear message: we need your gas as soon as possible. Germany has instructed companies to begin negotiating supply agreements. After Russia shut off supplies to Bulgaria and Poland this week, the situation became much more urgent.

From what Bloomberg has calculated, Qatar’s energy exports were on track to top $100 billion in the current year for the first time since 2014, based on first-quarter patterns. This will let it invest even more money in global stock markets and use its $450 billion sovereign wealth fund to pursue its foreign policy ambitions. Meanwhile, the government of Qatar expects the World Cup to bring around $20 billion in revenue.

As a result, 2022 will be more than just the year Qatar makes its mark on the athletic calendar, enriching one of the world’s wealthiest countries and strengthening its clout in ways that seemed unimaginable only a year ago.

Europe is screaming for liquefied natural gas (LNG) after Qatar announced a $30 billion plan to increase exports by 60% by 2027. Because of the increased demand, there will be more competition among buyers for long-term supply contracts, which will most likely result in better terms for Qatar.

Some observers questioned whether there would be enough business to warrant the expansion plan before the onset of the Ukrainian war. Qatar is already polling customers regarding a larger expansion, Bloomberg reported on April 20.

Karen Young, a senior fellow at the Middle East Institute in Washington, said it was a tremendous opportunity.  Qatar would be one of the most important gas exporters in the world, with a very robust market for years to come.

Eleni Kyriakou

Eleni is a journalist and analyst at Parliament Magazine focusing on European News and current affairs. She worked as Press and Communication Office – Greek Embassy in Lisbon and Quattro Books Publications, Canada. She is Multilingual with a good grip of cultures, eye in detail, communicative, effective. She holds Master in degree from York University.