Alert Reader writes in:
When you think in terms of the energy industy alone, the events of 2011 start to make a lot of sense. On the one hand you have the Fukushima incident which forced a shut down to Japan’s nuclear power and greatly increased reliance on imported natural gas. (mostly from Qatar). On the other hand you have the “uprising” in Syria which was well-noted to be deeply related to competing proposals for natural gas pipelines. (Qatar/Saudi on the one side and Iran on the other)
You also have the CEO of Qatargas visiting Japan just after Fukushima to express his “condolences” and, of course, willingness to sell more natural gas to Japan.
Notably, Qatar recently withdrew from OPEC, presumably to focus more on natural gas. See: Is a Natural Gas Cartel Forming?