Year of the Dragon for Gulf oil and gas producers

Just as the Eurozone crisis is deepening and European states are turning to the world’s richest countries for assistance, the Middle East region’s oil-rich states are increasingly forming alliances with China.

It has been four long years since Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah urged US general David Petraeus to ‘cut the head off the snake’, and destroy Iran’s then-nascent nuclear programme.

And while the executioner’s axe still hovers amid escalating tensions over the pariah state’s nuclear ambitions, Saudi and its five GCC partners – the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman – have spent the intervening years working busily to help bring Iran to its knees.

Iranian banks have been shuttered, Iranian businessmen blacklisted and Iranian traders turned away at Gulf ports. And if that wasn’t enough to worry the accountants in Tehran, the Gulf is now moving in on the one income stream Iran and its leaders simply cannot do without: oil.

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