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Letter from the Middle East: Qatar rapprochement could bring gas benefits

Greater GCC harmony might offer an opportunity to untangle some of the Middle East’s notoriously illogical gas dynamics, but LNG looks more promising than pipelines

The Mid-East Gulf’s big political rift has ended with something more than a truce and less than a reconciliation. Three-and-a-half years after Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and others announced an embargo on Qatar, diplomatic relations were restored in early January. Although underlying issues have not been resolved, a return to normal trade is promising for the gas business. Pipeline complications In the early 2000s, Qatar had ambitious plans to export some of its huge reserves by pipeline to its Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) neighbours. But, after Saudi Arabia blocked a proposed pipeline to Kuwait that would have run through its territorial waters, only the Dolphin pipeline—which has a

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