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Qatar meets UK gas demands despite blockade

August 23, 2017 at 3:19 pm

Military ships belonging to Qatar and the UK attend a joint military exercise in Qatar’s territorial waters in Doha, Qatar on 16 July 2017 [Qatari Defence Ministry/Anadolu Agency]

Qatar continues to meet its obligations to export liquefied natural gas to the UK despite the blockade imposed by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt since 5 June.

The blockade ignited concerns over Qatar, the world’s biggest exporter of the super-cooled liquid gas, meeting its obligation to supply gas to the UK.

While the diplomatic row presented logistical obstacles for Qatar, which supplies 20 per cent of the UK’s natural gas, it has managed to keep supplies to its international customers uninterrupted.

Roughly one million cubic metres of gas have been transported to the UK over the past four weeks.

The British Port of Milford Heven, the UK’s largest energy port, said in a press release that Qatari tankers loaded with liquefied natural gas reached South Hook gas station.

Read: How has Qatar fended amidst a sociopolitical and economic blockade by its neighbours?

The British Ports Authority said that the Qatari carrier Umm Salal – one of the largest tankers in the world – arrived at the British port. A number of other gas terminals in the UK also received gas supplied by Qatar.

Industry analysts believe that the swift actions taken by Qatar avoided any major disruptions to the international gas market. It was quick to move its regional shipment hub from the UAE, one of the countries heading the blockade, to Oman. There were genuine concerns that as the world’s largest exporter of gas – up to 77 million tonnes each year – Qatar’s inability to maintain supplies of LNG would prove catastrophic.

By moving quickly, Qatar was able to mitigate the impact of the blockade and secure alternative routes. Energy heads in the country are more upbeat than ever, reporting that the blockade has made Qatar much stronger.