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Zainab Calcuttawala

Zainab Calcuttawala

Zainab Calcuttawala is an American journalist based in Morocco. She completed her undergraduate coursework at the University of Texas at Austin (Hook’em) and reports on…

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Qatar Just Ran Out Of This Unlikely Natural Resource

Qatar sand dunes

Qatar is running out of sand needed for the construction of facilities for the 2022 World Cup due to the months-long Gulf blockade against Doha, according to new reports emerging from the region.

Generally, oil and fresh water are the most precious commodities for the desert nations that share the Arabian Peninsula, but the embargo against Qatar has made it difficult for the nation to import resources like sand.

Saudi Arabia was Qatar’s largest sand supplier before June 5th, but China and India take the second and third spots, suggesting that Doha can find a way out of the sand shortage with a little help from its Asian partners.

Qatar does have its own desert sands, but those grains are usually too powdery to be used for construction purposes, where it is mixed with concrete for strength. The country also has its own stockpiles of sand, but it is unclear how much it has remaining.

Instead of crumbling without political access to the KSA, Bahrain, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates, Qatar—the world’s largest natural gas exporter—proved itself to be flexible under severe diplomatic distress. Doha was once dependent on UAE’s ports to dock its massive LNG tankers, but once Abu Dhabi issued an eviction order for Qatari ships and cargo, Oman swiftly became Qatar’s new shipping hub.

Qatar has maintained its compliance to the November agreement by OPEC to cut blocwide oil output by 1.2 million barrels per day. Doha, the cartel’s fourth-smallest oil producer, had a quota of 618,000 barrels per day beginning in January 2017 and continuing through March 2018. October data pegs the state’s production to 600,000 bpd, safely below the requirements under the agreement harmonized by the KSA. But this fact hasn’t earned Qatar any good grace with its former Arab allies.

By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com

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