Published time: 6 Jun, 2017 10:11

Saudi Arabia's dispute with Qatar is said to date back to 1995 and stems from the country's success in liquefied natural gas (LNG) production. LNG has given Qatar greater independence from Riyadh and has aligned Doha with Saudi Arabia’s arch-enemy Iran.

The LNG revolution made Qatar one of the world's richest nations with an annual per-capita income of $130,000. The country also became the largest exporter of LNG.

Qatar’s offshore North Field, which provides all the country’s gas, is shared with Iran. Qatar also hosts US Central Command and bought a $2.7 billion stake in Russia’s oil major Rosneft.

“Qatar used to be a kind of Saudi vassal state, but it used the autonomy that its gas wealth created to carve out an independent role for itself,” said Jim Krane, energy research fellow at Rice University’s Baker Institute, in Houston, Texas told Bloomberg.

“The rest of the region has been looking for an opportunity to clip Qatar’s wings,” he added.


LNG wealth has allowed Qatar to form foreign policy, independent from the Saudis.


“You can question why Qatar has been unwilling to supply its neighboring countries, making them gas poor, There probably was an expectation that Qatar would sell gas to them at a discount price,” Steven Wright, Ph.D. Associate Professor at Qatar University told Bloomberg.