Shell diverts US LNG cargo to Dubai after Qatari diplomatic row
Staff members work at the booth of Royal Dutch Shell at Gastech, the world’s biggest expo for the gas industry, in Chiba, Japan, April 4, 2017. REUTERS/Toru Hanai
LONDON Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) has sent a replacement cargo of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the United States to Dubai, shipping data shows, after a diplomatic row disrupted typical trade routes from Qatar, the world’s biggest producer.
Shell has a deal to supply the Dubai Supply Authority (DUSUP) with LNG which it typically sources from Qatar because of its proximity.
But bans on Qatari vessels entering ports in the United Arab Emirates, imposed after top Arab powers severed diplomatic and transport links with Qatar on Monday, meant it had to source the LNG from elsewhere.
The Maran Gas Amphipolis tanker, carrying around 163,500 cubic metres of LNG produced in the United States, was initially headed toward Kuwait’s port of Mina Al-Ahmadi but made a U-turn on Wednesday to head for Dubai’s port of Jebel Ali.
The tanker is currently unloading at DUSUP’s floating import terminal at Jebel Ali, data showed.
As exclusion zones took effect, Qatar’s fleet of LNG vessels anchored off the UAE’s port in Fujairah prior to the diplomatic cut-off have moved out.
They are currently clustered offshore Qatar’s LNG export facility at Ras Laffan.
Since Monday the number of LNG tankers there has risen to 17 from seven, shipping data shows.
The queue reflects the impact of port exclusions as production from the export plant shows no signs of slowdown, an analyst said.
(Reporting by Oleg Vukmanovic; Editing by Jason Neely, Greg Mahlich)
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