International Monetary Fund (IMF) has officially announced on October 10, 2017, that the Arab quartet country’s more than 4-month old blockade against Qatar has not affected the country’s energy exports.
«The diplomatic rift between Qatar, the world’s largest exporter of LNG, and several other countries in the region, including Saudi Arabia, has not affected LNG markets, as Qatar’s exports have continued», IMF said in its October 2017 ‘World Economic Outlook’.
The IMF document noted the gas price index decreased by 9.6 % from February to August 2017.
The decline was mostly tied to seasonal factors and robust supply from the US and Russia, and lower oil prices, which some gas prices are indexed to.
The main drivers of lower prices were higher-than-expected US shale production and stronger-than-expected production recoveries in Libya and Nigeria.
In the Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan and Pakistan, growth is projected to slow significantly in 2017 to 2.6 % (from 5.0 % in 2016).
In 2018, growth is expected to increase to 3.5 %, mostly reflecting stronger domestic demand in oil importers and a rebound of oil production in oil exporters.
In Saudi Arabia, although non-oil growth is expected to strengthen somewhat this year, overall output is expected to be broadly flat as real oil GDP declines as a result of the commitments under the extended Opec agreement.
In 2018, growth is projected to increase to 1.1 %, reflecting an increase in oil output associated with the expiration of the Opec agreement.