Category Archives: Qatar
Qatar, also known as the State of Qatar or locally Dawlat Qaṭar, is an Arab country, known officially as an emirate, in the Middle East, occupying the small Qatar Peninsula on the northeasterly coast of the much larger Arabian Peninsula.
Oct 16th, 2016
An intriguing Ministry of Finance (MoF) report circulating in the Kremlin today says that elite Western bankers were “stunned/bewildered” a few hours ago after the Bank For International Settlements (BIS) registered a $1.8 billion transfer from the Clinton Foundation (CF) to the Qatar Central Bank (QCB) through the “facilitation/abetment” of JP Morgan Chase & Company (JPM)—and for reasons yet to be firmly established. [Note: Some words and/or phrases appearing in quotes in this report are English language approximations of Russian words/phrases having no exact counterpart.]
According to this report, the Bank for International Settlements is the world’s oldest international financial organization and acts as a prime counterparty for central banks in their financial transactions; the Qatar Central Bank is the bank of that Gulf State nations government and their “bank of banks”; JP Morgan Chase & Company is the United States largest “megabank”; and the Clinton Foundation is an international criminal money laundering organization whose clients include the Russian mafia.
With Hillary Clinton’s US presidential campaign Chairman John Podesta having longstanding ties to the Russian mafia and money laundering, this report continues, the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) maintains “complete/all times/all ways” surveillance of him and his criminal associates—including both Hillary Clinton and her husband, and former US President, Bill Clinton, and who are collectively designated as the “Clinton Crime Family”.
On Saturday 15 October (2016), this report notes, the SVR reported to the MoF that Hillary Clinton and John Podesta met with JP Morgan Chase & Company CEO Jamie Dimon at Clinton’s Chappaqua Compound outside of New York City—and who, in 2009, both President Obama and Hillary Clinton allowed to break US laws by his, Dimon’s, being able to buy millions-of-dollars of his company’s stocks prior to the public being told his JP Morgan bank was receiving a Federal Reserve $80 billion credit line—and that caused JP Morgan’s stocks to soar and that have had an astonishing 920% dividend growth since 2010.
Within 12 hours of the Hillary Clinton-John Podesta-Jamie Dimon meeting at the Chappaqua Compound, this report continues, the BIS registered the transfer of $1.8 billion from the Clinton Foundation to the Qatar Central Bank.
To why the Clinton Foundation transferred this enormous sum of money to Qatar, this report explains, is due to the longstanding ties between this Islamic neo-patrimonial absolute monarchy and then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who “oversaw/managed” the “massive bribery scheme” that allowed this Gulf State nation to secure the 2022 World Cup—and that the Qataris were so appreciative of they donated millions to the Clinton Foundation, and incredibly, in 2011, gave former US President Bill Clinton $1 million for a birthday present—bringing Hillary Clinton’s total “cash grab” from these Persian Gulf sheiks of $100 million—all occurring as recently released secret emails revealed Hillary Clinton’s knowledge that both Qatar and Saudi Arabia were, and still are, funding ISIS.
To what Jamie Dimon “related/said to” Hillary Clinton that caused her to suddenly transfer $1.8 billion to Qatar, this report notes, revolves around his JP Morgan bank being told by the US Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) in April (2016) that this “megabanks” master plan to save itself had “serious deficiencies” that could “pose serious adverse effects to the financial stability of the United States”.
Two months after the FDIC’s warning letter to Jamie Dimon, in June (2016), this report says, he cryptically “sounded a warning” that the United States sub-prime auto loan bubble was nearing collapse and stated that “someone is going to get hurt”.
Unbeknownst to the American people, MoF experts in this report explain, is that just 8 weeks ago multiple warnings began to be issued that the United States $1 trillion sub-prime auto loan bubble was beginning to collapse—and that this past week became so severe the Bank of America issued a recession warning telling its elite customers that “this market is scary”, and the British-based multinational banking and financial services company HSBC, likewise, issued a “Red Alert” warning all of its clients warning them to “prepare for a severe market crash”.
With one of the first “victims/casualties” of this sub-prime auto loan bubble being the German global banking giant Deutsche Bank that is “nearing its doom” and laying off tens-of-thousands of it workers worldwide, this report grimly states, the American mainstream propaganda media is failing to allow the people of that nation to know the full extent of this looming catastrophe—who unlike Hillary Clinton who has just protected $1.8 billion of her wealth, will be left defenseless once again at the hands of their elite rulers.
As Wikileaks secret Hillary Clinton emails have now proven that the US propaganda mainstream media is now totally controlled by her, and who continue their blackout on the “Clinton Crime Story of the Century”, this report continues, the absolutely horrifying statistics released this week showing that an astounding 35% of American who have been brutalized by the Obama-Clinton regime these past 8 years are so buried in debt they can no longer pay their bills is, likewise, being kept from these most innocent of peoples.
And rather than the US propaganda mainstream media warning the American people of their economies looming destruction, this report concludes, they have, instead, begun a “systemic mainstream misinformation” campaign to manipulate the presidential election polls showing Hillary Clinton leading—but that stands opposed to actual (but unreported) polls showing Donald Trump leading.
Critical Note: A highly classified SVR amendment to this MoF report states that upon Qatar receiving Hillary Clinton’s $1.8 billion earlier today, one of that sheikdoms royal places was “ordered emptied” in preparation for the “early November arrival” of a “high value” dignitary—Hillary Clinton perhaps?
by Bassam Tawil
February 13, 2015 at 5:00 am
Iran, with its proxies in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Bahrain and Yemen, has surrounded all the oil fields in the region and is currently busy encircling Jordan, Israel and Palestine.
Iran not only reaches now from Afghanistan to the Mediterranean, but Iranian Shi’ites have been spreading out through Africa and South America.
By the time U.S. President Barack Obama leaves office, Iran will not only have nuclear breakout capability, but also the intercontinental ballistic missiles to deliver its nuclear warheads to Europe and North America.
If Iran can finally drive the U.S. out of the Gulf by threatening U.S. assets, it will be free to pursue still further expansion.
If the deal signed with Iran is full of loopholes, it is Obama who will be blamed. Does Obama really want his legacy to be, “The President who was even a bigger fool than Neville Chamberlain”? He will not be seen as “Nixon in China.” He will be seen as the Eid al-Adha lamb.
Recently, foreign ministers from the European Union (EU) have been holding meetings with representatives of the Arab and Muslim world, including Turkey and Qatar, with the intention of forming a “joint task force to fight Islamist terrorism.”
Turkey and Qatar, for example, directly encourage Islamist terrorism, thus there is no way they can be part of a task force to act against it.
In some Islamic thinking, such nonsense, because of its certain lack of ever seeing the light, is merely a prologue to the ultimate war between Gog and Magog (“yagug wamagu”), and heralds the End of Days.
The Arab-Muslim world engages in perpetual internal strife. Iran, for instance, with its proxies in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Bahrain and Yemen, has surrounded all the oil fields in the region, and is currently busy encircling Jordan, Israel and the Palestinians. Iran not only reaches now from Afghanistan to the Mediterranean, but Iranian Shi’ites have been spreading out through Africa and South America. Another sign of the End of Days is the United States’ collaboration with Iran against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. It means the world will eventually pay for America’s looking the other way while the Iranians are building nuclear bombs in their cellars.
These cellars may currently be distant from the shores of the United States, but they are close to all the oil fields in the Middle East. By the time U.S. President Barack Obama leaves office, Iran will not only have nuclear breakout capability, but also intercontinental ballistic missiles to deliver its nuclear warheads. Its next target will be U.S. assets in the Gulf. If Iran can finally drive the U.S. “Great Satan” out of the Gulf by threatening U.S. assets, it will be free to pursue still further expansion.
These are or will be the victims of America’s determination to drag out the problem of an exploding Middle East. That way, U.S. President Barack Obama can hand the region over to the next president, while forever pretending that the vacuum created by pulling U.S. troops out of the Middle East — now being filled by Iran, the Islamic State and other terror groups — had nothing to do with him.
This situation leaves, ironically, the lone voice of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu crying in the wilderness. As much as many of us may not like him or the people he represents, he is one of the two world leaders in the West telling the truth, warning of what is to come (Geert Wilders of the Netherlands is the other). This burden of responsibility for his people (how many of us wish our leaders had even a bit of that?) has earned him only the venom of the Obama Administration, who see him as trying to spoil their strategy of leading by procrastination.
It is also becoming increasingly clear that the Obama Administration’s policy consists of running after Iran, in order to concede everything it wants, just to be able wave a piece of paper not worth the ink on it, claiming there is “a deal.” Iran, for its part, would probably prefer not to sign anything, and most likely will not. Meanwhile, both sides continue strenuously to claim the opposite.
Western leaders just seem not to be programmed to understand the capabilities of other leaders, and how they, too, negotiate, manipulate and hide behind lies. Obama’s Russian “Reset Button” did not work; his “Al Qaeda is on the run,” did not work; “We shall never let Russia take the Ukraine” did not work; and the unwinnable Israel-Palestinian “Peace Process” did not work.
Obama, in order to wave a piece of paper not worth the ink on it, seems eager to fall victim to bogus promises, worthless treaties and other leaders’ outright lies — only to look an even bigger fool than Britain’s former Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain. After meeting with Germany’s with Adolf Hitler in 1938, Chamberlain returned to Britain boasting of “peace in our time.” But Chamberlain did not have the luxury of seeing a Chamberlain duped before him. If the deal signed with Iran is full of loopholes, it is Obama who will be blamed. Does Obama really want his legacy to be, “The president who was an even bigger fool than Neville Chamberlain”? He will not be seen as “Nixon in China.” He will be seen as the Eid al-Adha lamb.
Bassam Tawil is a scholar based in the Middle East.
CIA Operation “Zero Footprint”, Qatar, Benghazi and The Connection To Ahmed Abu Khattala – The Real Motive For The Obama Administration’s Recent Arrest…June 18, 2014 by sundance
Yesterday, it was announced the Obama administration had moved on Sunday to arrest a Benghazi al-Qaeda leader Ahmed Abu Khattala. Many people, including Fox’s James Rosen pointed particular questions to the State Dept. about “why now”?
As unbelievable as this might sound, the most likely answer has little to do with what’s currently being pondered as a motive for this administration, “squirrel”. The reality is within the Bergdahl deal, and the GITMO-5 to Qatar, there is a far more likely reason.
Ahmed Abu Khattala is directly connected to the covert transfer of U.S. arms from Qatar to Libya in the initial 2011 decision to arm the Benghazi “rebels”.
Against the backdrop of recent discoveries about Qatar giving some of the aforementioned arms, specifically stinger missiles, to the Taliban in Afghanistan – Khattala became a risk of exposure to the White House.
They needed to throw a bag over him.
Bear with me through the complexity and I’ll outline the events with all citations included for reference.
On March 30th 2011 Reuters News Agency reported that President Obama had already signed a secret order authorizing the CIA to provide covert support to the Libyan opposition, an operation that would become known as “Zero Footprint”.
2011- U.S. officials also have said that Saudi Arabia and Qatar, whose leaders despise Gaddafi, have indicated a willingness to supply Libyan rebels with weapons. (link)
Ultimately a joint decision between the State Department (Hillary Clinton) and CIA (General David Petraeus) was reached to use friendly nations as cover for direct shipment of U.S. arms into Libya as part of Operation Zero Footprint.
According to federal law, in the event a covert operation is deemed necessary, it is the president’s responsibility to alert the leadership in the House and Senate, as well as the chairman and ranking members of the Intelligence Committees in both chambers.
In the intelligence community, this group is referred to as “the Gang of 8″ [ John Boehner, Nancy Pelosi, Mike Rogers, Ruppersberger, Mitch McConnell, Harry Reid, Diane Feinstein, Saxby Chambliss].
The Gang of 8, which included leaders from both parties should have known about Operation Zero Footprint. Now think about all the political people who have either thrown roadblocks up, or dragged their heels, in the two years since the Benghazi attack…. now go back and look at that list again. Got it? OK, good… read on.
Ironically – who probably didn’t know about Zero Footprint? John McCain – Seen here, in Benghazi, with Chris Stevens around the time it was all being executed.
It is important to remember this covert operation was after General Carter Ham (Africom) was removed in his authority over the Libyan conflict and NATO took over.
Nothing moved in and out of Libya but for the approval of NATO; so Admiral Stavridis, NATO command, had to authorize any of the armed shipments that came in there.
By the time of this White House/NATO decision Chris Stevens was embedded in Benghazi, helping to coordinate those arms shipments.
In the process constructed NATO (via Stavridis), following the instructions of the U.S. State department and CIA, used the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as the financier of the weapons.
Qatar was used as the front or go-between to handle the logistics and shipping of the weapons in and out of Libya.
Ahmed Abu Khattala in his position as the insurgent commander within the Libyan Islamic Fighting group, and as leader of Ansar al-Sharia (which is the Muslim Brotherhood link in Libya), was the recipient of all those arms flowing into Libya.
Khattala was the commander within the actual fighting force on the ground. Khattala was the leader of what Hillary called “the rebels”.
It was only a year after the attacks on the State Dept./CIA compound – on December 31, 2013- when the State Department designated Ahmed Abu Khattalah as a global terrorist.
Khattalah was the senior leader of the group Ansar al-Sharia, known for its extreme hostility toward the West. Khattalah had spent most of his adult life imprisoned by the Qaddafi regime for his Islamist views, fueling his hatred for the dictator.
Because of the unique construction of the entire Libyan operation the Department of Defense and the FBI had virtually no knowledge of Operation Zero Footprint, which is completely consistent with the US Senate Select Committee’s finding after the Benghazi attack.
In addition -as has previously been reported- AFRICOM Commander General Carter Ham was not aware a CIA Annex even existed in Benghazi, at the time of the attacks.
As the Senate Select Committee pointed out:
We are puzzled as to how the military leadership [vis-a-vi Ham] expected to effectively respond and rescue Americans in the event of an emergency when it did not even know of the existence of one of the U.S. facilities.
Details of the covert weapons operation Zero Footprint were tightly guarded among select members of Congress (the Gang of Eight), the CIA (Petraeus), the State Department (Clinton) and the White House (Donilon), who were all trying to manage a covert operation that would expose a U.S. policy decision to arm al-Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist militias. A decision that would ultimately lead to the death of Ambassador Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty.
A few weeks ago, when the political team of McDonough, Blinkin, Rhodes et al, made the political decision to use Bowe Bergdahl as an example of President Obama’s military bona-fides, and try to cover the growing VA scandal, they didn’t think through the possibility of a linkage with Qatar so heavily referenced in the media again as part of the deal to release the GITMO-5.
Indeed, Qatar might have slipped by unnoticed were it not for the backlash against the release of the terrorists and the political hot-potato the entire decision became.
The White House team could never have anticipated the re-surfacing of Qatar and the connections that came up to Qatar’s previous less-than-honorable follow-through with the Libyan missiles; some of which ended up in the hands of the Taliban and were used against U.S. forces in Afghanistan.
However, once folks –including media– began sniffing around the Qatar connections, the problem of Ahmed Khattala re-surfaced as a risk that needed to be under control. The risk compounded with the reality that ISIS, the Syrian al-Qaeda insurgency, was in the news all over Northern Iraq holding the same -albeit a different batch- stinger missiles previously id’d to the Taliban.
So last Sunday they threw a bag over him.
Now, with all of that absorbed, take a break – grab a beverage – and sit down to watch this video you’ll see how it all comes together: Here
By Ryan McMaken Thursday, September 5th, 2013
As Rothbard pointed out, war and militarism are socialism writ large, and not surprisingly, war is very expensive to the taxpayers, and especially to those who are the targets of military intervention.
There is presently a debate in Congress and in the media about how expensive the war in Syria will be. In the American policy debate The expenses are only calculated in estimated monetary terms, and so we know that the debate will of course ignore all damage done to the Syrians themselves and to global markets, which are always damaged and stunted by wars.
Nevertheless, even the very tame and limited argument over the costs to the U.S. treasury will be based mostly on conjecture and dishonest assessments of the true cost.
We might get some glimpses of some of the honest estimates as the debate rages between the bureaucrats and the politicians, although even those are still nothing more than estimates. The bureaucrats (i.e. the Pentagon) will use the drive to war in Syria as an opportunity to demand that more taxpayer money flow into their coffers. We have seen this already with former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s claim that the tiny cuts imposed by sequestration “are weakening the United States’ ability to respond effectively to a major crisis in the world.” It will be in the Defense Department’s interest to high-ball the costs of the war.
Nevertheless, even the Defense’ Department’s claims of costs for the Syria war will likely be well below the true cost by the time the public hears them, for the Department will be restrained by the Obama Administration’s competing interest to make the war appear as cheap as possible. Fearing resistance from some taxpayers, the Administration will naturally wish to have the war appear cheap, easy, and no big deal, as regards to cost.
Indeed, John Kerry was claiming yesterday that unnamed “Arab countries” have offered to pay for the war. This claim by the Obama Administration should be seen as being on more or less the same levels as the Bush Administration’s claim in 2003 that the Iraq war and the reconstruction of the country would be paid out of Iraqi oil revenues.
Those who remember the debate of Iraq War costs a decade ago will also recall the Bush Administration’s outrage over General Eric Shinseki’s (correct) estimate that hundreds of thousands of troops would be necessary to restore peace to Iraq in a reasonable amount of time. The Administration claimed only a fraction of that number, and thus, only a fraction of the funds, would be necessary.
So, politicians want a war to appear cheap, at least up front, while the bureaucrats want bigger budgets. Once the war starts, though, all bets are off, and any political or legal authorization given to the administration to wage war will be a de facto blank check for future unlimited outlays for occupation and conflict on an unlimited timeline. We’ve already seen this in both Afghanistan and Iraq, and while the two countries descended into chaos, the claim was made that since the U.S. regime had “broken” Iraq and Afghanistan, the taxpayers were now on the hook to finance the “fixing” of the broken countries.
The regime knows that all it needs to do is start a war, and the money will begin to flow indefinitely. Thanks to Robert Higgs’s Crisis and Leviathan, we know that war is generally a winning proposition for states, for it leads to greater revenues and more control of the domestic population, continually ratcheted up by new wars. Rothbard noted in his essay “War, Peace, and the State” that while wars can lead to the downfall of states, they upside is often enormous for them, as wars secure vast new powers for the regime both domestically and internationally. And since Syria poses no threat to the U.S. military or to U.S. territory, the prospects are all excellent for the politicians, bureaucrats, government contractors and intellectuals who all stand to get rich off the latest conflict.
The taxpayers will of course fare less well, whether in the form of a far greater tax burden or by their misfortune in holding a currency ever more de-valued by the need to deficit-finance endless war.
For the government class though, times are good, as long as enough of the population can be neutralized or even convinced to support the latest conflict. Thanks to what Hans-Hermann Hoppe calls “the myth of national defense,” wars are among the easiest big government programs to sell to the citizenry, for so few are willing to entertain possibilities outside the status quo of state monopolies for the provision of defense.
And in those cases where convincing the voters might prove more challenging, the state can always goad foreign nations into making an aggressive move than can lead to war, or the state may rely on a small army of intellectuals to provide the propaganda necessary to sweep all opposition aside.
The cost to Americans in the form of higher energy prices, lost trade opportunities, and other hidden costs will be immense, but even the cost in dollars to the taxpayers when calculated in terms of the true costs of empire, cannot be predicted.
(Reuters) – The United States is seeking to build regional shields against ballistic missiles in both Asia and the Middle East akin to a controversial defense system in Europe, a senior Pentagon official disclosed on Monday.
The effort may complicate U.S. ties with Russia and China, both of which fear such defenses could harm their security even though the United States says they are designed only to protect against states like Iran and North Korea.
The U.S. push for new anti-missile bulwarks includes two sets of trilateral dialogues – one with Japan and Australia and the other with Japan and South Korea, said Madelyn Creedon, an assistant secretary of defense for global strategic affairs.
Such shields could help counter perceived threats to their neighbors from Iran and North Korea and help defend the United States from any future long-range missiles that the two countries might develop, she told a conference co-hosted by the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency.
The model would be the so-called “phased adaptive approach” for missile defense in Europe, Creedon said. This includes putting interceptor missiles in Poland and Romania, a radar in Turkey and the home-porting of missile defense-capable Aegis destroyers in Spain.
Moscow fears that such a shield, given planned upgrades, could grow strong enough by 2020 to undermine Moscow’s own nuclear deterrent force. It has threatened to deploy missiles to overcome the shield and potentially target missile defense installations such as those planned in NATO members Poland and Romania.
China likely would be even more opposed to an antimissile shield in its backyard, said Riki Ellison, a prominent missile-defense advocate noted for his close ties to current and former U.S. senior military officials involved in the effort.
Beijing “would take much more offense to an Asian phased adaptive approach than Russia is doing with the European one,” he said, calling regional shields a good idea in theory but problematic in reality.
In the Middle East, Creedon said Washington will work to promote “interoperability and information-sharing” among the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council – Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Oman – as they acquire greater missile-defense capabilities.
The biggest U.S. missile defense contractors include Boeing Co, Lockheed Martin Corp, Raytheon Co and Northrop Grumman Corp.
The Obama administration at the same time stepped back from an announcement this month that it was weighing the possibility of giving Russia certain classified missile-defense data as the price for winning its acquiescence to the European shield.
“We are not proposing to provide them with classified information,” Ellen Tauscher, the administration’s special envoy for strategic stability and missile defense, told the conference. Instead, she said, the Obama administration had offered Moscow a chance to monitor a flight test in international waters of a U.S. Standard Missile-3 interceptor.
This, she said, would let Russian officials see for themselves the accuracy of “what we are saying about our system.” The United States argues that the U.S. system poses no threat to Russia’s nuclear deterrent.
As recently as March 6, the administration had said it was continuing negotiations begun under former President George W. Bush on a pact with Moscow that could include sharing limited classified data, but said it was making no headway toward a deal with Russia.
Obama’s administration was not the first “to believe that cooperation could be well-served by some limited sharing of classified information of a certain kind if the proper rules were in place to do that,” Bradley Roberts, a deputy assistant secretary of defense, had told the House of Representatives’ Armed Services subcommittee on strategic forces at the time.
The idea of such data-sharing drew sharp criticism from Republicans in the U.S. Congress including a move to legislate a prohibition.
The rollback on any such deal involving classified data exchange came after President Barack Obama was caught on camera on Monday assuring outgoing Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that he would have “more flexibility” to deal with contentious issues like missile defense after the November 6 U.S. presidential election.
Obama, during talks in Seoul, urged Moscow to give him “space” until after the vote, and Medvedev said he would relay the message to Russian President-elect Vladimir Putin.
(with additional reporting by Andrea Shalal-Esa; Editing by Eric Beech)
- Obama seeks to defuse controversy on missile comments (mb50.wordpress.com)
- President Obama Asks Medvedev for ‘Space’ on Missile Defense – ‘After My Election I Have More Flexibility’ (mb50.wordpress.com)
Doha (Platts)–14Nov2011/616 am EST/1116 GMT
Ministers of the world’s leading gas exporting countries with control over 70% of global natural gas reserves met in Doha Sunday to prepare for the group’s first summit and agreed a communiqué to be issued by their leaders that will call for the restoration of a price link to oil, a senior delegate said.
A communiqué issued after the ministerial meeting made no mention of price and was thin on details of discussions during a closed session of ministers, which saw Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Ghasemi make his first visit abroad as representative of his country since his appointment in August. He will be joined Tuesday by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for the summit of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum, or GECF.
But a senior delegate said the ministers of the GECF, now numbering 12 after Oman was admitted as a member, approved the wording of a communique for their leaders, due to meet in Doha on Tuesday. He said the final statement includes a call, endorsed strongly by host Qatar, of the need to attain oil price parity for gas while upholding the principle of long-term contracts as the main basis for gas exports.
Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani set the tone for the GECF’s first gathering at heads of state level when remarks he made two years ago calling for a restoration of the oil-gas price link were reproduced by all Qatari state-owned media on Sunday.
“It is time for the members of this forum to work together to restore the link between gas prices and oil prices and achieve parity between them,” official news agency QNA quoted the emir as saying at a GECF ministerial meeting in Doha in 2009, when gas prices had slumped in the wake of the global financial crisis.
The agency noted that former Algerian Oil Minister Chakib Khelil last year warned that long-term gas sales contracts were under threat after spot prices in 2009 fell to less than a quarter of their previous value.
The communiqué said ministers “took note of the key elements of the Secretariat presentation on gas market developments and discussed the challenges facing the natural gas industry as well as effective cooperation among GECF members for developing a stable and transparent gas market.”
The ministerial statement made no mention of prices, which have diverged in recent months with Asian markets securing higher prices in the wake of Japan’s rising imports of LNG in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear crisis, leaving a big gap with gas prices in the US, where shale gas is rapidly displacing imported LNG.
Indeed Kevin Ramnarine, energy minister of Trinidad and Tobago, once the biggest exporter of LNG to the US, told Platts he expected exports of LNG from the Atlantic LNG complex in Trinidad to the US to fall to zero in the future as a result of rising shale gas output there.
He said exports to the US had fallen to just 25% from 70% four years ago and Trinidad had adapted to the change by diverting supply to South America, Europe and Asia, which this year accounted for 22% of Trinidad’s LNG exports.
The so-called shale gas revolution in the US and plans by several other countries in Europe and Asia to develop their shale gas reserves is one of the major challenges facing the producers and exporters of conventional gas gathered in Doha, the capital of the world’s largest producer with a capacity now at 77 million mt/year.
But Qatar has no plans now to expand its capacity to meet the surge in demand from Asia with a moratorium on further development of the massive North Field expected to remain in place, Qatari Oil Minister Mohammed al-Sada said.
He was evasive when asked whether Qatar would now revise its decision on the moratorium given that it had boosted shipments to Japan in the wake of the tsunami and expectations of strong growth in demand for gas over the next two decades.
“We have to take care of the reservoir management and the technical side of the production of the North Field. It is important to us and a lot of valuable information can only be obtained after producing and seeing physically the performance of the field and this is what we are looking at,” Sada said, adding that Qatar would honor its commitments to customers.
Although Sada did not say that the moratorium would not be lifted, his remarks suggested Qatar had no plans to review the moratorium on the North Field, the world’s biggest concentration of non-associated gas.
“This is a depletable resource and one should look carefully at how to produce it and maintain the productivity of the field for as long as possible,” he said.
A senior Qatari gas industry source said there were no plans to lift the moratorium, which had been due for a review in 2014 after completion of reservoir studies on the North Field’s performance.
Qatari officials have said previously that they could increase LNG production by debottlenecking existing LNG trains to provide an additional 10-12 million mt/year.
However, the source said, with the moratorium in place, there would be no gas available for any expansion.
There had been some speculation that Qatar halted further development of the North Field, which is an extension of Iran’s South Pars gas field, because of fears in Tehran that rapid development on the Qatari side would lead to depletion of reserves on its side of the offshore field.
Iran, which has the second-largest conventional gas reserves after Russia, has been unable to raise its gas production capacity as rapidly because of restrictive international sanctions that have deterred foreign investment.
Previous talk of a possible collaboration between Iran and Qatar to jointly develop the shared gas field has come to naught.
The GECF, which is dominated by Russia, Iran and Qatar, has often spoken of the need for cooperation among its members though there has been no concrete action to that end in the ten decades of its existence.
Russian Energy Minister Sergey Shmatko told the news conference Russia was open to collaborative efforts, noting that the opportunity for Qatar to join Russia’s Yamal LNG project had been discussed. But the Russian minister gave no indication as to whether Qatar was any closer to joining France’s Total as a partner in the Yamal project, a subject that has been on the cards for some time.
Sada said in response to a question that the issue of swapping LNG for Russian pipeline gas, once touted as a possiblity, was not raised.
Amid talk of achieving gas price parity with oil, now trading around $115/barrel for benchmark Brent Blend crude, the GECF was keen to reiterate that there was no plan to transform the Doha-based forum into a cartel.
Prices “depend on commercial interactions among the exporting countries and their customers but does not fall under the GECF’ jurisdiction,” said Bokhanovskiy, who was elected to a second term as secretary general.
“It is not our role to coordinate price policy or quotas for production of gas … all our members are free to formulate their own commercial policy. It is not a question to create some kind of formula. We are for the connection between oil prices and gas prices and for the oil indexation of gas prices.”
The next ministerial meeting will be held November 2012 in Equatorial Guinea.
–Kate Dourian, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Nigeria, others prepare for first Gas summit (vanguardngr.com)
- You: Gas forum readies for first summit (france24.com)
- Angola: Oil Ministry Says US Will be Main Market for LNG Export (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Lithuania: Cheniere Eyes LNG Exports by 2015 (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Petronet in Talks to Buy Capacity at US, Australia LNG Terminals (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Shale gas should make the world a cleaner, safer place (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Canada: Encana Optimistic About LNG Exports (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Japan hopes to buy LNG from U.S. by 2015 (mb50.wordpress.com)
- LNG Demand East of Suez Expected to Surge (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Oil demand, prices to drop over time – Alison-Madueke (vanguardngr.com)
“Five projects (in the US) have applied to US authorities for approval to export gas,” Petronet CEO and Managing Director A K Balyan told reporters in New Delhi. “We are talking to some of them with an aim to tie up long-term volumes.”
He refused to give details. With domestic gas output falling, companies are looking at new LNG contracts to meet the growing energy demand.
Besides Petronet, state-owned gas utility GAIL India, too, is looking to acquire capacity at proposed LNG terminals on the US Gulf Coast.
So far, Cheniere’s Sabine Pass, Freeport LNG and Southern Union’s Lake Charles are the three projects that have applied to export LNG.
“We have to see how export permissions work out,” Balyan said, adding Petronet was looking at picking up an equity in the terminals to get better pricing of gas.
It is also looking at supplies from the US and Australia among others to feed the 25 million-tons-a-year LNG import capacity it will have by 2015-16.
Balyan said Petronet is expanding the Dahej terminal capacity to 15 million tons a year from 10 million tons in next 40 months while building a new import facility at Kochi in Kerala.
Another 5 million tons facility is planned on the east coast for which three sits – two in Andhra Pradesh and one in Orissa have been shortlisted.
Petronet reported almost doubling of its net profit at Rs 260.33 crore in the quarter ended September 30, on the back of higher volumes it imported in the three-month period.
“We regassified 135.08 trillion British thermal units of gas in July-September as against 99.78 trillion BTUs in the same period a year ago,” he said, adding that besides the long-term LNG contract from Qatar, the company imported 12 cargoes from the spot market in the quarter.
It had not imported any shipload of LNG in Q2 of previous year.
“We hope to maintain the trend (during the current quarter). Import from spot market should be 12 to 14 cargoes,” he said.
Petronet in all imported 42 cargoes or shiploads of LNG. Of these, Petronet imported six cargoes from spot market by itself and an equal number were contracted by its promoters, GAIL and Gujarat State Petroleum Corp (GSPC).
- Canada: Kitimat LNG Wins Export Licence (mb50.wordpress.com)
- LNG Demand East of Suez Expected to Surge (mb50.wordpress.com)
- USA: Wartsila Wins LNG Propulsion Equipment Contract for Offshore Vessels (mb50.wordpress.com)
- USA: Jordan Cove Files for LNG Export Permit (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Jamaica: Bids Open for LNG Project (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Paupa New Guinea: FLEX Updates on Gulf LNG Project (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Australia aiming to be the 2nd largest global LNG supplier by 2015 (jobcontax.wordpress.com)
Nathan Bell April 18, 2011 - 2:50PM
There’s an old joke among oil drillers: “We didn’t hit oil, but at least we didn’t hit gas”.
Just 10 years ago, gas was an irritating, near-worthless by-product of oil production. Now an oilman’s job depends on it.
Major oil producers like Chevron and ExxonMobil are chasing gas because they can’t get their hands on any more oil.
What’s more, it’s now much less expensive to transport, to the point here gas is now a real substitute for oil. The switch to LNG is on.
But what really accelerated the pace of change was the advent of Liquefied Natural Gas, or LNG.
Prior to this development, gas had to be transported through huge, and hugely expensive, pipelines. Only those projects close to customers or existing pipelines made economic sense. LNG did away with all that.
Through a process known as liquefaction, gas is chilled into LNG, occupying a volume just 1/600th of its gaseous state. This small fact changed the face of the industry.
Where once large and expensive pipeline networks were required to transport gas point-to-point, now ships deliver it anywhere in the world.
Nevertheless, it’s still a complex process. Once LNG reaches its destination, it has to be turned back into its gaseous state – a process somewhat unimaginatively known as regasification – and transported conventionally via pipelines to end users.
At both ends of the LNG chain, nature and technology collide. And the costs of that battle aren’t cheap.
The supply glut
LNG prices are traditionally linked to the oil price. In days when oil fetched $US20 a barrel this quirk was seen to benefit buyers of gas. Today, with oil prices at over $US100 a barrel, it’s a boon to gas producers.
Producers have responded by scrambling to increase output. There’s now every sign of a global glut of LNG.
Qatar is home to the world’s largest gas fields, where enough oil and condensate by-product lowers the effective cost of gas production to almost zero. Cost-free cargoes of Qatari LNG thus ply the world’s oceans, holding prices down.
In Australia, new capacity worth nearly 60 million tonnes per annum (mtpa), has already been committed. With coal seam gas reserves yet to come on stream, that figure is likely to grow.
The shale gas revolution in the US will also have an impact, turning what might have been an importer of LNG into a possible exporter.
And shale and coal seam gas discoveries that have transformed the North American gas market may also occur in new markets like China, India and Brazil. If that occurs, some of the world’s largest potential markets may not need to import LNG at all.
A glut of LNG over the next few years appears likely. Indeed, we’ve been warning of this possibility.
But over the longer term, demand for LNG should easily catch up and perhaps even exceed new capacity.
Growing demand for LNG
The world’s biggest and hungriest energy consumers have barely embarked on their conversion to gas.
In 2005 China had no re-gasification terminals at all. Today, there are six in various forms of development. Each will be able to process millions of tonnes of LNG each year. Currently, Chinese LNG imports are less than 6mtpa. In 15 years’ time, they’re forecast to increase 10-fold. India, Brazil, South Africa, Vietnam and others are constructing new terminals to import LNG.
Overall, demand is expected to grow 15mtpa for the foreseeable future. That’s the equivalent of a new North West Shelf every year.
With Qatar indicating it has reached its supply limit – volumes are not expected to exceed 77mpta for some years – Australian producers are well placed to fill that supply shortfall.
The switch to gas is already on. Developing countries are increasingly seeing LNG, not oil, coal or renewables, as the primary solution to their growing energy demands. Investors take note: this is a sector that will offer rich pickings for investors.