Mohammed Saleh Abdulla Al Sadais, energy minister of Qatar, said today that “worries over the debt crisis in the euro zone were pushing oil prices down, rather than issues relating to supply and demand.”
According to Reuters, when he was asked if OPEC should cut oil production to stop the prices from falling any lower, he replied, “We are watching supply and demand.” Qataris is the home of the U.S. military’s Central Command, which is considered good for American interests. The little country has large investments in Western-style higher education.
According to Al-Sada, he is watching the markets in Europe, reporting that stock levels are healthy and there is no shortage of oil. He also said, “But we are watching developments, especially in the euro zone situation and all prospects of GDP.”
Online headlines in August and September read, “Oil price falls with Libyan regime” (August 22, 2011) and “Oil field clashes halt production,” (September 21, 2011). In Libya the oil-rich country of Qatar was the first country to endorse military intervention against Qaddafi, giving political cover for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s support of the revolutionaries. They also provided six mirage jet planes and offered Arab credibility to the fight and military operations.
This has resulted in a loss of markets for European gas due to the Arab world in tumult and Qatar in high gear, making it a situation of high strategic importance.
To strengthen U.S.-Qatar ties, the U.S needs to build on the April meeting between President Obama and the emir in April, as Qatar is open to a possible Iranian backlash. More high-visibility encounters should occur between the Qatar officials and the United States, as this little country puts high value on recognition and prestige. They have a reputation of having a good relationship with everyone, whether it is the Taliban or the United States---with the U.S needing to provide quiet support for America.
Business Line reports that the world needs stable, not low, commodity prices, because of a slowdown in economic activity around the world, especially in the OECD region, and twin deficits in the U.S. --- accelerating the price decline.