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Qatar Halts Gas Shipments Via Red Sea Following Airstrikes

DALL·E 2024 01 15 22.36.53 An image depicting LNG tankers in the sea symbolizing Qatars LNG fleet. The scene should show several large LNG tankers navigating through ocean wat

A Strategic Decision Amid Rising Tensions in Key Shipping Route

Doha: In response to heightened risks in the Red Sea, Qatar has temporarily suspended liquefied natural gas (LNG) shipments through the Bab El Mandeb Strait. This decision follows recent US-led airstrikes on Houthi targets in Yemen, which have escalated tensions in the vital maritime corridor.

Implications for LNG Shipments

The halt impacts several LNG vessels operated by Qatar. According to ship-tracking data, at least five tankers destined for the passage were paused, with three off the coast of Oman, one in the Red Sea, and another near the Suez Canal in the Mediterranean Sea. This move by Qatar underlines the sharp increase in risks in the region and demonstrates a cautious approach to safeguarding its energy shipments.

International Advisories and Responses

Following the airstrikes, the Combined Military Forces, including the US and UK navies, advised merchant shipping to avoid the danger zone in the southern Red Sea. Major oil tanker operators have also expressed concerns, with some choosing to steer clear of the area.

Qatar’s Role in Global LNG Supply

Qatar, a major supplier of LNG to Europe, typically routes exports via the Red Sea. The alternative, a longer journey around Africa’s southern tip, could delay deliveries. However, Europe is currently well-stocked with LNG, and industrial demand remains subdued, mitigating the immediate impact of these delays.


Qatar’s suspension of gas shipments via the Red Sea is a significant development in the wake of rising geopolitical tensions. It reflects the complexities and vulnerabilities of global energy supply chains and highlights the need for strategic navigation in turbulent geopolitical waters.

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