Lloyd's List is part of the Business Intelligence Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC’s registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use. For high-quality copies or electronic reprints for distribution to colleagues or customers, please call UK support at +44 (0)20 3377 3996 / APAC support at +65 6508 2430

Printed By

UsernamePublicRestriction
UsernamePublicRestriction

Qatar crisis a stress-test of the new world order

 Maritime companies must increasingly get used to Middle East uncertainty

THE Qatar crisis has confirmed many apprehensions the shipping industry had at the start of this year.

These include the fact that old pillars of geopolitical stability can no longer be counted upon; old alliances that kept the peace are losing relevance; and Washington can no longer be trusted to intervene actively to resolve a global crisis, irrespective of whether it has a 10,000-strong military base in the country or not.

The Qatar crisis has been called the worst in the Middle East since the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.

It flared up right under the nose of US President Donald Trump, who had visited Saudi Arabia just a week earlier to sign a $110bn weapons deal with Riyadh.

In fact, Mr Trump’s little trip most likely emboldened Riyadh to make its move against Doha.

This week, Mr Trump sold $12bn worth of F-15 fighter jets to Qatar, confirming suspicions that his interests may not go beyond cutting major business deals.

Not only does the Trump administration lack a coherent foreign policy on the Middle East, but its decisions also seem to be driven by sentimentality, in this case an obsessive and perpetual dislike for Iran and its allies. 

This is a less than ideal business environment, and one that maritime companies must increasingly get used to, not least because the threat of Iran sanctions looms again.

It is also worth considering how Washington would have handled the Qatar crisis had the US depended on Doha for its natural gas supply.

In today’s world, if Qatar’s gas industry were to collapse, the US and Australia can quickly step in to absorb the impact of supply disruptions, helping ensure global energy security.

At least for the oil and gas shipping industry, it appears that long-term shifts in energy markets are partly offsetting the uncertain geopolitics of the Trump era.

The hope is that progressive forces of change, such as climate change awareness, globalisation and cultural tolerance, will prove more resilient than a regressive Twitter-obsessed leader of the free world.
Advertisement

Related Content

FAQs: How the Qatar crisis affects oil and gas shipping
Qatar geopolitical spat weighs on Middle East bulker trade
Qatari LNG carriers that avoided Suez Canal were just killing time, say sources
Qatar rift spreads confusion among VLCCs

Topics

Advertisement
UsernamePublicRestriction

Register

LL108708

Ask The Analyst

Please Note: You can also Click below Link for Ask the Analyst
Ask The Analyst

All set! This Question has been sent to my@email.address.

All fields are required.

Please make sure all fields are completed.

Please make sure you have filled out all fields

Please make sure you have filled out all fields

Please enter a valid e-mail address

Please enter a valid Phone Number

Ask your question to our analysts

Cancel