The recent diplomatic developments that saw Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain take a clear position against Qatar seems to have not, for the time being, affected the region's energy sector. Indeed the Dolphin submarine pipeline, linking Qatar to Abu Dhabi and Oman, is still operational. According to some news sources, "the crisis would have had no impact on supplies to Oman and the Emirates." Qatar is the world’s leading exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG). In 2016 total exports reached 78 million tonnes, about 30 percent of the global supply, two thirds of which were exported to Asia. The Dolphin pipeline, a 364-kilometre-long pipeline that starts from Qatar’s huge North Field and that passes through the Taweelah Power Station to Abu Dhabi, continuing on to the port of Fujairah Harbor, and from there to Oman, carries About 2 billion cubic meters of gas per day into the UAE network, the UAE importing about one-third of their needs from Doha. Other 2 billion cubic meters head to Oman. The three major clients of the Dolphin pipeline are the Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Company (Adwec), the Dubai Supply Authority (Dusup) and the Oman Oil Co.
Doha is not interrupting its gas exports
Last October 2016 the Emirates Water and Energy Authority, Sharjah and Ras al Khaimah, signed an agreement for additional quantities of gas via the Dolphin. In recent years gas demand in the United Arab Emirates has grown by about 6 per cent and the country is trying to diversify its gas sources through the development of the Shah field in the western region, which now supplies about 10 per cent of the country's requirements. Dusup, which manages the floating storage and regasification unit at Jebel Ali, Dubai, last September upgraded its liquefied natural gas (LNG) processing capacity with a new and larger floating regasification unit hired from the US company Excelerate Energy. Egypt looks to Quatar for a significant amount of its gas supply, sourcing about 65 percent of its LNG imports from Doha, which account for about 10 percent of the country's total daily demand. The border closure by Riad and Abu Dhabi, which also includes territorial waters, should not affect the sector, as Qatar can access the international waters of the Persian Gulf and continue its exports to its clients, particularly Japan, South Korea, India and China. The risk of any disruption to the LNG sector is also mitigated by protections afforded by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, according to an analysis by BMI Research.