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LNG terminal in Barcelona, Spain

Stock Photo: LNG terminal in Barcelona, Spain. Credit: Shutterstock/Nadja1

Qatar Notifies Spanish Utility of LNG Shipping Delay

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January 25, 2024

By Marwa Rashad and Pietro Lombardi

LONDON/MADRID, Jan 25 (Reuters) – Qatar, one of the world’s largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporters, has notified Spanish power utility Endesa of a delay to an LNG cargo due to the Red Sea conflict, two industry sources told Reuters.

Attacks in the Red Sea by Iranian-backed Houthi militants on shipping vessels are disrupting the transport of goods and commodities to European countries.

Qatar Energy recently decided to taking a longer route via the Cape of Good Hope due to the conflict, and this week informed Edison and other buyers in Europe, as well as some British terminals where it has long-term capacity, that it will delay or reschedule shipments. 

“Qatar told Endesa that there will be a delay with the Al Khor tanker. The delay will be for about 10-12 days,” one of the sources said. 

Al Khor, a 137,354-cubic meter vessel, loaded LNG at Ras Laffan in Qatar on Jan. 20, and is now expected to arrive in Barcelona on Feb. 23 following a more than month-long journey, LSEG data showed. 

Endesa declined to comment when contacted by Reuters.

Qatar Energy did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment outside Gulf business hours. 

It said earlier on Thursday the Red Sea conflict may impact deliveries of some LNG cargoes as they take alternative routes, although shipments are being managed with buyers. 

LSEG ship-tracking data show that Qatar has not shipped any LNG cargoes to Europe via the Red Sea since Jan. 14, and that at least five Qatari LNG cargoes heading to Europe are currently taking the long route. 

Last year, Qatar covered only 3.6% of Spain’s gas demand, and the country still enjoys strong inventories and unseasonably warm weather.

“An extended shut-in of the Red Sea route from the Middle East poses a supply risk to Europe, although the price impact will be delayed until Europe’s gas storage has been drawn down sufficiently,” said Kaushal Ramesh, vice president at Rystad Energy.

Qatar has not reduced exports to Europe so far and its exports are expected to be a bit higher than the levels seen in November and December, according to Kpler data.

(Reporting by Marwa Rashad; Editing by Jan Harvey)

(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2024.

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