Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Top LNG exporter Qatar warns gas prices are at unhealthy levels

DUBAI/BEIRUT (Oct 7): Qatar, the world’s biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas, warned that prices have climbed to “unhealthy” levels.

“While natural gas prices are an outcome of basic market fundamentals including supply and demand, the current price levels observed in global markets are unhealthy for both producers and consumers,” the Gulf nation’s Energy Minister Saad Al-Kaabi said after a virtual discussion with Kadri Simson, the European Union’s commissioner for energy.

His comments come amid a crisis in gas markets, with prices in Europe and parts of Asia having surged in recent weeks. They eased on Wednesday, following comments from Russia’s President Vladimir Putin suggesting that Moscow could raise exports.

Qatar is spending around US$30 billion to increase production, though that will take years. Kaabi said last month that the country would struggle to boost output in the near term, as it was pumping at maximum capacity.

“They are queuing up for LNG,” he said on Sept 21. “We have huge demand from all our customers and unfortunately, we can’t cater for everyone.”

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