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Exxon Talks With Emir Of ‘Isolated’ Qatar

The emir of Qatar, the tiny gas-rich Gulf state now isolated by its Arab neighbors, met with ExxonMobil’s chairman and chief executive Darren Woods in Doha on Saturday to talk bilateral cooperation relations, Reuters reports, citing Qatar’s state news agency QNA.

At the beginning of June, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt, Yemen, and Libya cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of sponsoring terrorism and destabilizing the region. Last week, Saudi Arabia and its several other Arab allies issued a list of 13 demands to Qatar, giving it 10 days to meet those demands, which include cutting ties with Saudi archrival Iran, and closing the Al-Jazeera TV network. Most analysts and insiders think those demands are nearly impossible to meet, while Qatar denies allegations that it is a sponsor of terrorism and says that it would not negotiate under blockade.

This latest rift in the Middle East has raised concerns over energy supplies. While Qatar is not a major oil producer and exporter, it is the world’s biggest LNG exporter, and it was Exxon that has partnered in projects with Qatar Petroleum to develop the North Field, the world’s largest non-associated natural gas field.

According to the Qatari news agency, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani met with Exxon’s CEO Woods and ExxonMobil Qatar General Manager Alistair Routledge at the Al-Bahar Palace on Saturday.

“During the meeting, they discussed bilateral cooperation relations and means to develop them in addition to the latest developments in the energy sector,” Reuters quoted the QNA agency as saying.

Just a day after Qatar’s neighbors cut their ties with the world’s biggest LNG exporter, Exxon said to Reuters that LNG production and exports from Qatar had not been affected by the spat among the Arab Gulf states.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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