Qatar’s exports of oil and gas have continued largely unaffected since Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and various other countries slapped sanctions on it last week (MEES, 9 June). They cannot prevent Qatar from shipping cargoes through the Strait of Hormuz, but have sought to make the process as tough as possible. The resultant uncertainty for buyers has not been helped by the mixed messages emanating from Riyadh and Abu Dhabi.

These countries immediately stated that ships with Qatar on the manifest would be unable to call at their ports. This effectively meant that shippers could no longer co-load Qatar crudes with those from Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi. Moreover, ships would be unable to bunker at the emirate of Fujairah, the region’s largest bunkering port (MEES, 9 June). While these challenges are far from insurmountable, they are inconvenient for buyers and will add expense. (CONTINUED - 653 WORDS)