Qatar Holds Off on Gas Shipments Through Red Sea After US Airstrikes

Qatar Hits Pause on Gas Shipments Amidst Red Sea Tensions After US Airstrikes

Jan 15, 2024 - 01:09
Jan 15, 2024 - 01:10
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Qatar Holds Off on Gas Shipments Through Red Sea After US Airstrikes
Qatar Holds Off on Gas Shipments Through Red Sea After US Airstrikes

Qatar is taking a break from sending natural gas ships through the Bab el-Mandeb Strait in the Red Sea after the US-led airstrikes in Yemen. Ship-tracking info shows about five Qatari gas ships that were on their way to the southern Red Sea have stopped since Friday. Three are waiting near Oman's coast, one is in the Red Sea, and another is close to the Suez Canal in the Mediterranean Sea.

The US and UK navies, part of the Combined Military Forces, told merchant ships to stay away from the southern Red Sea after the airstrikes on the Houthi group. Some big oil tanker companies decided to avoid the area too.

The Houthi group hasn't attacked gas ships since November, but Qatar is playing it safe due to the higher risks after the US-led strikes. Qatar is a major exporter of natural gas and usually sends it to Europe through the Red Sea, making up about 13% of Western Europe's gas use last year.

Because of the increased risks, there might be delays in sending gas to Europe, but it's not likely to cause shortages right away. There's enough supply in the region, and the demand for gas in industries is not very high. Also, the winter has been pretty mild so far. Gas prices in Europe are currently close to the lowest they've been since August.

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