Qatar Current Affairs - 2019
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India is now the second largest consumer and importer of the LPG in the world. This is attributed to government initiatives to push for cleaner alternatives to traditional cooking fuels such as firewood and cow dung.
Import of LPG
The import of LPG grew by 12.5 per cent over the past five years to 12 million metric tons (13 million tons) in 2018-19. India now stands at the second position when it comes to the import of LPG surpassing Japan. India is at second place behind China. The exporters of LPG to India include Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Iran.
Consumption of LPG
The number of active LPG consumers in India has grown at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15 per cent – from 14.8 crore in 2014-15 to 22.4 crore in 2017-18.
Increase in population combined with LPG penetration in rural areas has resulted in an average growth of 8.4 per cent in LPG consumption, making India the second largest consumer of LPG in the world at 22.5 million tonnes.
The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas estimates that LPG consumption would grow to 30.3 million tonnes by 2025 and 40.6 million tonnes by 2040.
The flagship scheme of the government Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) has made a significant contribution towards enhancing the penetration of LPG, especially in rural areas. The renewed targets under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) aims to provide LPG connections to 8 crore households before March 31, 2020.
Qatar has announced its withdrawal from Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) from January 2019 and focus more on the production of natural gas. It makes Qatar first Gulf country to leave OPEC bloc of oil-producing countries led by Saudi Arabia.
Qatar has been member of OPEC since 1961 and its decision to pull out after more than five decades comes at turbulent time in Gulf politics. It is under boycott from its neighbouring gulf allies including Saudi Arabia for 18 months (since August 2017).
Qatar is the world’s largest exporter of liquified natural gas (LPG) and 17th largest producer of crude oil (around 600,000 barrels per day). It also only holds around 2% of the world’s global oil reserves. The withdrawal decision reflects Qatar’s desire to focus its efforts on plans to develop and increase its natural gas production from 77 million tonnes per year to 110 million tonnes in the coming years. Being part of OPEC its oil production was steady with limited prospects for increases. Since 2013, amount of oil Qatar produced has steadily declined from about 728,000 barrels per day (2013) to about 607,000 barrels per day (2017), or just under 2% of OPEC’s total output.
Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)
OPEC is an intergovernmental organization (or cartel) of 15 oil-exporting developing nations that coordinates and unifies the petroleum policies of its member countries. It was established in 1960 in Baghdad, Iraq by the first five members. Its headquarters are in Vienna, Austria.
Its mission is to coordinate and unify petroleum policies of its member countries and ensure stabilization of oil markets, in order to secure an efficient, economic and regular supply of petroleum to consumers, steady income to producers and fair return on capital for those investing in petroleum industry.
OPEC member countries accounted for an estimated 43% of global oil production and 73% of the “proven” world’s oil reserves. Two-thirds of OPEC’s oil production and reserves are in its six Middle Eastern (west Asian) countries that surround the oil-rich Persian Gulf.
- Asia and Middle East: Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia (de facto leader of OPEC), Kuwait, United Arab Emirates and Qatar (to withdraw from January 2019)
- Africa: Algeria, Angola, Libya, Congo Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon
- South/Latin America: Ecuador and Venezuela