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Russia attack on Ukraine reverberates in energy-rich Gulf

Russia's assault on Ukraine has pushed oil prices past $100 a barrel, threatening pain for Western motorists and creating risks as well as opportunities for Gulf producers
— Dubai (AFP)

Russia's assault on Ukraine is reverberating in the energy-rich Gulf, where top oil and gas producers face economic and political dilemmas in easing sky-high prices and alleviating shortages in Europe.

As oil prices broke past $100 per barrel and risks of supply disruptions grew, eyes in Europe were increasingly focusing on oil kingpin Saudi Arabia, and Qatar, one of the biggest natural gas exporters.

And the calculations in Riyadh and Doha are much more nuanced than maximising financial gain from soaring prices, as market constraints and alliances with both the West and Russia are also paramount.

Qatar and Saudi Arabia "are facing a reality in which their main exports are in high demand," Karen Young, director of the Program on Economics and Energy at the Middle East Institute in Washington, told AFP.

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