Bloomberg: Qatar delays LNG shipments to Europe amid Red Sea crisis

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Qatar, one of the world’s biggest liquefied natural gas exporters, is delaying some shipments to Europe as crisis in the Red Sea forces longer travel times, Report informs referring to Bloomberg.

The Middle East country informed some European buyers of delays and rescheduled shipments, according to traders with knowledge of the matter. It’s reshuffling global supply to meet contractual obligations, diverting deliveries from elsewhere and swapping for available cargoes near Europe, the traders said.

Since January 15, Qatar has diverted at least six shipments destined for Europe around the Cape of Good Hope in southern Africa, instead of the shorter route through the Red Sea and the Suez Canal, according to ship-tracking data compiled by Bloomberg. That adds about 9 days to the journey to the UK, according to commodity intelligence provider ICIS. Qatar Energy didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment.

The gas market has so far largely shrugged off disruptions in the Red Sea, where missile and drone attacks by Yemen’s Houthi militants have forced many merchant ships to avoid the area. European gas futures are near a six-month low amid high inventories, strong renewables output, subdued industrial demand and plenty of alternative LNG supply.

Additionally, Qatar hasn’t reduced exports, even though some cargoes are taking longer to reach their destination. LNG shipments from the nation over the last two weeks are about 7% higher than the same period last year, according to ship-tracking data.

Italy’s Edison said its LNG supplier informed the company that a cargo scheduled for January 31 to February 5 at a terminal in the Adriatic will not be delivered, according to a message posted on the Gestore Mercati Energetici. Edison didn’t name the supplier. Qatar has a long-term contract with the company, and a report earlier said that the country wouldn’t be able to deliver a shipment for the period.