Qatar halts Red Sea tankers after US-led airstrikes

QatarEnergy, a major LNG exporter, temporarily halts Red Sea tanker passage due to U.S.-led strikes against Houthi militants in Yemen.

2024 01 15T115259Z 1 LYNXMPEK0E0AQ RTROPTP 4 ISRAEL PALESTINIANS YEMEN STRIKE
FILE PHOTO: A missile is launched from a warship during the U.S.-led coalition operation against military targets in Yemen, aimed at the Iran-backed Houthi militia that has been targeting international shipping in the Red Sea, from an undisclosed location, in this handout picture released on January 12, 2024. US Central Command via X/Handout via REUTERS/File Photo

QatarEnergy, Qatar’s liquefied natural gas exporter, and one of the largest in the world, has temporarily halted the passage of tankers through the Red Sea due to U.S.-led strikes against Houthi militants in Yemen.

The Houthis, expressing solidarity with Palestinians during the three-month long war between Israel and Hamas, hijacked vessels in the Red Sea, disrupting the crucial trade route and raising alarm among Western powers.

The state-owned firm, QatarEnergy, has kept at least four LNG tankers off the coast of Oman, citing security reasons for their pausing.

This pause followed numerous airstrikes by the US and the UK on the Houthis in Yemen. The Houthis, engaged in a prolonged conflict with a Saudi-led coalition, have extended their focus to the sea, exerting pressure on Israel in recent months. In response, the U.S. military intercepted an anti-ship cruise missile fired by the militants.

British Defence Secretary Grant Shapps remarked, “let’s wait and see what happens,” regarding the possibility of additional strikes. The conflict in the Red Sea is one Britain said it would rather avoid, although it will safeguard the right of free navigation.

The situation has impacted businesses, with Suzuki halting production in Hungary due to delayed engine arrivals from Red Sea attacks. QatarEnergy is reportedly seeking security advice before deciding to resume Red Sea passage or take the longer route around Africa’s Cape of Good Hope.

The Houthis remain steadfast in targeting Israel-linked ships, heightening concerns about the security of this vital maritime passage. The Red Sea, a critical shipping route linking Europe and Asia, sees about 12% of world shipping traffic through the Suez Canal.

These geopolitical tensions have affected energy markets, with fluctuations in European gas prices and Asia spot LNG prices. Despite rising Middle East tensions, oil supplies have remained unaffected, leading to a slight dip in oil prices after a brief increase last week.

More from Qonversations

Business

2024 02 08T033513Z 792143449 RC2DL3AHZ344 RTRMADP 3 SOFTBANK GROUP RESULTS

SoftBank’s CEO Masayoshi Son to raise $100 billion for AI chip venture

Business

2024 02 16T073930Z 639369761 RC2G36ASLNUW RTRMADP 3 JAPAN STOCKS

Japan’s economy slips into recession

Business

2024 02 12T142007Z 1 LYNXNPEK1B0E3 RTROPTP 4 UKRAINE CRISIS GERMANY SCHOLZ

Germany pledges to meet 2% NATO spending target and increase production of artillery

Business

2024 02 09T012933Z 1 LYNXMPEK1801E RTROPTP 4 AUSTRALIA DEFENCE

Australia to allocate $260 million towards the development of next-generation military drones

Front of mind
Screenshot 2024 02 09 at 10.47.42

How to win elections in Africa – Chike Ukaegbu

Ismail Akwei

Presidential elections in Africa have gone through many cycles since the 1950s when Ghana became the first country […]

Read more
Screenshot 2024 01 21 at 07.33.15 scaled

How China can help revive agribusiness in the Caribbean

Eleanor Sa-Carneiro

Against the backdrop of the Caribbean, Trinidad and Tobago’s Fine Cocoa Company is setting sail into the waters […]

Read more