UAE Gas Supplies: Qatar Dependence Remains Despite LNG Diversification

The UAE’s push to diversify its LNG suppliers means it can easily replace Qatari LNG amid the current diplomatic rift. Piped gas is another matter. Qatar is unlikely to turn off the taps, but Sharjah may be left waiting for planned additional flows.

The UAE’s severing of diplomatic ties with Qatar this week (see p2) has brought its precarious gas balance and its reliance on its neighbor into the spotlight.

The UAE relies on imports for 30% of its 69 bcm/year gas consumption. And over 95% of import volumes, some 19.6bcm for 2015, came from Qatar (see chart 1).

Of this some 90% came via the Dolphin pipeline to Abu Dhabi; 17.7bcm for 2015, with Jodi data indicating similar volumes for 2016. But LNG imports to Dubai have also been surging. They hit 2.43mn tons in 2015 (around 2.8bcm of gas, of which two-thirds, some 1.6mn tons or 1.9bcm came from Qatar). But whilst LNG import volumes rose further to 3.35mn tons in 2016, the Qatari share near-halved from 65% to 38% as Dubai diversified its sources amidst growing global supplies. In volumetric terms supplies from Qatar fell by 20% to 1.265mn tons (see chart 2). (CONTINUED - 1618 WORDS)


chart 1: Uae Gas Balance (Bcm, 2015)
chart 2: Uae* Diversifies Lng Suppliers (‘000 Tons)
chart Contracted Volumes Through Dolphin (Mn Cfd)