A liquefied natural gas (LNG) tanker that loaded cargo from Qatar is reportedly signaling the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as its destination, the first such shipment since mid-2017, reflecting improving ties between the countries.
LNG tankers sometimes change the destination, but if the shipment is completed, this would be the first time a Qatari LNG cargo has been shipped to the UAE since May 2017, according to ship-tracking data from UK-based largest providers of financial markets data and infrastructure Refinitiv Eikon and data intelligence firm Kpler.
The UAE and other countries in the region cut ties with Qatar in mid-2017, citing allegations that Doha supports terrorism, a charge that it denies.
However, the UAE reopened all of its land, sea, and air entry points with Qatar after Saudi Arabia announced a breakthrough in ending a dispute between Gulf Arab states and Qatar at a summit this year. Before the dispute, Qatar was a regular exporter of LNG to the UAE during the summer, when demand for electricity generation rises.
The tanker, Al Ghariya, loaded cargo from Ras Laffan on May 10 and is currently at anchor, but data show that it is scheduled to discharge the cargo in Jebel Ali, UAE, on May 13.
Another LNG tanker, Al Gattara, which loaded from Ras Laffan on May 5, had initially indicated Jebel Ali as its destination but was diverted to Asia, according to Kpler analyst Ms. Rebecca Chia. Both tankers are on long-term charter to Qatar gas, she added.
Qatar has also resumed monthly condensate exports to the UAE since February, according to Refinitiv Eikon. Furthermore, the data has revealed that Qatari condensate exports to the UAE increased to 1.7 million barrels in April, up from 287,000 barrels in February.