Gulf States Launch Naval Blockade Of Qatar

Tyler Durden's picture

In what has emerged as the most significant escalation to result from the Qatar diplomatic crisis - which pits two of OPEC’s largest oil producers, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, against the world’s biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas and further disrupts stability in the region -  the biggest Middle East oil and container ports banned all vessels sailing to and from Qatar from using their facilities.

According to a notice posted on the website of Inchcape Shipping, Saudi Arabian and Bahraini authorities closed off all of their ports to Qatari-flagged vessels or ships traveling to or coming from the Persian Gulf state, in what has been described as a naval blockade. 

As Bloomberg adds, container and oil terminals in the United Arab Emirates also closed off traffic to any ships touching Qatar.

Saudi Arabia’s eastern coast is home to the port of Ras Tanura, which state-owned Saudi Arabian Oil Co. says is the biggest crude terminal in the world. Jebel Ali port, the region’s biggest container terminal, will be restricted from Tuesday until further notice, its operator Dubai’s DP World Ltd. said in an emailed statement according to Bloomberg. In the U.A.E., DP World operates Jebel Ali along with Dubai’s Mina Rashid and Mina Al Hamriya ports. Elsewhere, government-owned Abu Dhabi National Oil closed its crude and refined-product ports to any vessels to or from Qatar. The port at Fujairah, a main oil transit and refined product hub, said Monday it was closed to Qatar-linked traffic.

For now, shipping at Egyptian ports was operating normally as of Tuesday, according to Inchcape. The company also said the Suez Canal Authority has advised that there aren’t restrictions on vessels in the waterway since it is an international route.

Separately, Bloomberg also reported that A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S, which owns the world’s biggest container line, said it can no longer get cargo to Qatar as a result of the Saudi-imposed blockade of transport to and from the Gulf state.

Though the situation remains “very fluid,” with updates expected throughout the coming hours, Maersk Line expects “disruptions to our Qatar services,” spokesman Mikkel Elbek Linnet said in an emailed statement on Tuesday. For now, “we have confirmation that we will not be able to move cargo to or from Qatar,” he said.

Maersk Line doesn’t use its own vessels to bring cargo to Qatar, but relies on third-party so-called feeder services from the United Arab Emirates Jebel Ali port in Dubai. “We will notify our customers on alternatives as soon as possible,” Linnet said.

Maersk ships about 16 percent of the world’s seaborne freight, making it the global leader in container transportation. Maersk, which has been working on splitting off its energy business to concentrate on its transport operations, said last year it lost the biggest oil field in its portfolio when Qatar ended a 25-year partnership with the Danish company. The agreement allowing Maersk to operate the Al Shaheen offshore field expires next month, after the company lost its bid for renewal to Total SA.

In addition to crippling overall Qatar-bound trade, the sea blockade will hurt shipments of oil and refined products from the world’s biggest energy exporting region.

According to Per Mansson, a shipbroker at Affinity Shipping in London, the Saudi ban on vessels going to and from Qatar will create logistical difficulties for some combination charters of crude oil supertankers from the Persian Gulf and will likely increase the use of smaller vessels. "It will be a little more difficult, it will be a little bit more tricky for certain charters”: Mansson said, noting that there are “not huge quantities” of oil being exported from Qatar relative to other Gulf states.

Afffinty also says that the combination charters, where loading occurs in more than one nation, are popular on routes to Japan, Korea and adds that the use of Suezmax and Aframax ships on Qatar routes may increase. That said, companies could still book combination charters with Qatar and other nations that don’t have restrictions, including Iran and Iraq.

Yet while the shipbroker tried to talk down the potential impact of the shipping ban, according to Bloomberg oil strategist Julian Lee, blocking vessels going to/from Qatar is probably the most important direct move that Saudi Arabia has made in terms of hindering its smaller neighbor’s ability to export crude oil and condensates.

Saudi Arabia’s move mirrors similar restrictions by United Arab Emirates, which will mean ships going to/from Qatar no longer have access to the Middle East’s biggest refueling center at the port of Fujairah.

According to Bloomberg, 27 of 31 vessels that loaded Qatari crude, condensate in May co-loaded in either Saudi Arabia or the UAE.

The good news is that aside from the above, Lee believes that there is little reason - so far - to believe that measures against Qatar will have a materially negative impact on country’s energy exports.

* * *

Finally, there is the question of LNG shipments.  Here, as Reuters reported earlier, LNG traders took a wait-and-see approach, alert to potential disruption of regional energy flows "but erring on the assumption that any trade shocks could be contained given well supplied global markets."

Qatar's top clients in Japan and India quickly received reassurances that supplies would continue as usual. Whether this persists is unclear: within hours of the diplomatic break, the UAE barred all vessels coming to or from Qatar using its popular anchorage point off Fujairah. The ban impacts about six LNG vessels linked to Qatar now anchored in the Fujairah zone which may need to be moved out, according to shipping data on Thomson Reuters.


But there was little sign yet of LNG supply being hit. "I cannot see this impacting exports of Qatari LNG outside the Arab world at all and it won't likely impact LNG and gas pipeline exports within the Arab world either," Morten Frisch, an independent LNG and gas industry consultant, said. Still, traders startled by the development began to plan for all eventualities, especially any upsets to piped gas supplies from Qatar to the UAE.

Egypt, while relying heavily on Qatari LNG brought in by Swiss commodity trade houses, is less vulnerable than the UAE because it has no direct deals with Qatar, domestic gas output is squeezing out the need for imports, and traders would be liable for any moves by Qatar to restrict exports.

"Trafigura, Glencore and Vitol frequently take LNG from Qatar and deliver it to Egypt but they take ownership of the cargoes at the Qatari port and don't use Qatari ships, meaning technically that Qatar shouldn't have sway," one trade source said. In reality though, Qatar can block exports to certain countries by issuing so-called destination restrictions.

"It's not clear yet," another LNG trader said of potential impacts to deliveries from Qatar to Egypt.

* * 

Can (and will) Qatar respond to the blockade?

Retaliatory measures such as suspending LNG supply deals would leave Qatar free to push more volumes into Europe where it has access to several import terminals. Under that scenario, trade houses with supply commitments to Egypt could turn to the United States, Algeria and Nigeria for replacement cargoes, traders and industry sources told Reuters.

The deterioration in ties between Qatar and Egypt contrasts with 2013 when the producer gifted five LNG cargoes to Egypt - when Mohamed Mursi, leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, served as president. Ironically, it is Qatar's support for the MB - if only according to the "official narrative" - that is the catalyst for the current crisis.

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Pure Evil's picture

Yeah we're gonna go to war against the very country that houses the largest military air base in the Middle East.


For Trump Derangement Syndrome please take cyanide capsules and call your doctor in the morning if conditions persist.

HRClinton's picture

They can still sail or fly into Iran, since they have a common sea border.

Tactical Joke's picture

Buggering little boys in Syria, I think.

VWAndy's picture

 We getting played folks. And all the governments are prolly in on it too.

Implied Violins's picture

I wondered what the globalist angle regarding Qatar was. Now we know: a solid excuse to shut down oil transport at any time.

Must be about time to blow the economy - er, start a war.

any_mouse's picture

Ding ding. Winner. VWAndy.

Prolly? Fer shur!

More likely is all governments are (((owned))) and are golums to keep the goyim in line and the (((owners))) out of sight.

The irony of a scion of a wealthy Jewish family, wedded to a bride from the Rothschild lineage, developing an antithesis to Capitalism. Note how many East India Companies existed in Europe, almost every nation with a naval presence had one. The East India companies were intelligence operations.

Word play time.
Who is known for their genetic intelligence?
Who runs the Intelligence agencies?
Who chose "intelligence" as the name for spies and secret action groups?

They produce these hoaxes, sit back and laugh.

Like children playing a prank and hiding to see the reaction.

TePikoElPozo's picture

this does nothing except push QATAR towards RUSSIA

and Vlad is welcoming with open arms (and S400's)


fuckers are still 2 moves behind on the chess board

slwsnowman40's picture

Not necassarily, US Central Command's base is in Qatar.  The Navy also has a port capable of repairs in Bahrain.

TePikoElPozo's picture

"i regret to inform you that your lease has expired... now, get the fuck out of my country"


-Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani  (yep, that's his name)

Dame Ednas Possum's picture

A pick-up full of hillbillies armed with beer cans could take control of Qatar in an afternoon.

Anybody who has been there and knows the locals knows exactly what I mean. They are feckless clowns.

Cman5000's picture

The U.S. 5th Fleet, is based in Manama, Bahrain.

Yippie21's picture

Muh Russia!  Who cares?  Push 'em ALL to Russia.  Russia is NOT the enemy.  Let Russia run things in the ME for a couple of decades while we focus on getting out of debt, auditing the FED and prosecuting fraud.  I'm sick and tired of policing the whole damn planet.

froze25's picture

All good ideas, non will be allowed to happen until the SHTF, keep preparing its just a matter of when not if.

oddjob's picture

A proper investigation of 9/11 would be a start.

Juggernaut x2's picture

Why would anyone want to cozy up to Russia with the way Putin is getting bitch-slapped in Syria by Trump and Bibi?

Mustafa Kemal's picture

"I'm sick and tired of policing the whole damn planet."

I think you are confusing "policing" and "imperialism"

Personally, I think lot of the planet is sick and tired of us doing all that good.

Xibalba's picture

Getting out of debt.... Hahaha hahahaha, dude you're going to waiting a while 

Juggernaut x2's picture

SA, UAE  and Israel= ME Axis of Evil

LightBulb18's picture

I think Israel has to be both sides of the good and bad parts of the shadow government.

Tall Tom's picture





A Naval Blockade is an act of War.


Oh shit.

hoytmonger's picture

So are economic sanctions.

VWAndy's picture

 Anything to keep the gravytrain rolling.

  Its all about our labor folks.

 the stall and bartering

HominyTwin's picture

It is not a true naval blockade..more like a boycott.

tenpanhandle's picture

actually it's more like a set of guide lines... or is that the Pirate Code.

el buitre's picture

So far it is not a blockade.  The term is being used too loosely.  Any country has the legal right to ban ships of various nationalities or from various destinations from using their ports.  Now if the vast Saudi navy intercepted a freighter coming in from say, India, to a Quatari port, that would be a blockade and an act of war.

It appears that if the Saudis are stupid enough, and they are amazingly stupid, to actually invade Qatar, Iran and Turkey will counter militarily, and Russia will advise Egypt to stay out of it..  Additionally, Yemeni national forces which are right now kicking butt on the Saudi foreign mercenary army, will see it as a big opportunity to advance further into Saudi territory.  I give the house of Saud maybe a year before they have to flee to their hidey holes.

serotonindumptruck's picture

WWIII is about to begin.

syzygysus's picture

Where did Cankles deposit 1.8B of the Foundation money?






VWAndy's picture

  That was prolly payola to get this war started.

Cautiously Pessimistic's picture



Moar Woar.  Sigh.....

juicy_bananas's picture

What is at stake is more than one small country; it is a big idea: a new world order.

new game's picture

who will enforce this embargo? this going to get ugly fast. ah, sure, understand. the intention.

one way to get oil/gas up. but that pipeline must happen. russia took syria off the table, so now errupt a war and watch it spread. iran - what you say? russia - say what? in your face...

ps. good luck with that pipeline. it will never flow anything...cept reason for continual conflict going back to british empire/and euro's survival of naty need.

Libtard's picture

"This is a big fucking deal!" Joe Biden

Philippines's picture

Now this is interesting. Time to make some popcorn.

Buck Johnson's picture

I commented on the other story from Qatar that military action would happen and possibly they would take  over aka invade little Qatar.


Juggernaut x2's picture

But SA is not on our(and Israel's) shitlist like Saddam was so we won't get the BS "killing babies in incubators" stories like with Kuwait

Juggernaut x2's picture

But SA is not on our(and Israel's) shitlist like Saddam was so we won't get the BS "killing babies in incubators" stories like with Kuwait

swmnguy's picture

Wow, the US is serious about shutting down Qatari cooperation with Iran on their shared gas field, and Qatari dealings with China denominated in RMB.

Snaffew's picture

This would only happen if Qatar is working with Russia instead of against them to divy up the European and Iranian markets.  The West and the terrorists (Saudis) no likey!  Could become the world's biggest flaming gas plume if they blow up those Qatari wells.

Squidward_Tentacles's picture

Qatar (pronounced Cutter) has the world's largest natural gas reserve off their coast.  It's not about oil and wells.  It's about liquified natural gas.   Their wealth is derived from gas, not oil.

TePikoElPozo's picture

Sounds like ASSAD can stay after all

i guess that pipeline thru syria is off the menu for now

serotonindumptruck's picture

The proxy war against Iran becomes more dangerous every day.

The Saudis are getting their asses kicked in Yemen, so it's time to go to Phase 2.

robertocarlos's picture

You no go There. Illegal!

That is an act of war.

TePikoElPozo's picture

i heard they gassed thier own people

Yars Revenge's picture

How interesting to watch ISIS' two biggest financiers now fighting with one another.

bowie28's picture

Seems the $100B arms deal with the Saudis had some undisclosed terms - like we'll pretend they haven't been funding ISIS but they need to provide a good cover story along with a scapegoat.

The funny part will be how the MSM will happily play along with the new storyline.  MIC interests are one of the few things that Trump their hatred for Trump. 

Prehaps their narrative will be something like this:

The Saudis are all about human rights and peace and harmony in the world so it's no surprise that they will do anything in their power to stop the rogue regime in Qatar from funding Islamic extremists.  America appreciates the resolve and dedication of our allies in SA in our shared efforts to defeat global terror.




Jacksons Ghost's picture

@Bowie   Spot on!  That is exactly the angle that will be fed to us.  Obvious to us ZH'ers, anyone else I talk to, they glaze over....look at me like...Whhhhaaaa?   They ask, "What does MIC stand for?". 

Deep In Vocal Euphoria's picture

all a plan all a show.


trump taking credit hahahhaha......terrorists blaming other terrorists for funding terrorism...


look in the mirror tips from the coach!


.....saudi arabia is the home of wahabism ISIS ideology...usa 350 billion dollars to saudi can't fool me can't fool me...i know all your tricks....just as this fake NSA hoax story in the news today...just another hoax from the intelligence community...they laugh at ain't worth shit.


but the sheep keeps cheering on.....sit back and watch the show thats all i can say...darkness coming....

youngman's picture

This could get interesting...Qatar is a small but very rich country.....and Liquid gas blows up bigly....somewhere in Qatar there are people loading their private jets with all their wealth and trying to leave I bet....

lil dirtball's picture

> We getting played folks. And all the governments are prolly in on it too.

Do you suppose?

Used to be that the Bilderberg meetings never existed. Then, it became a 'conspiracy theory', but still denied. Then it became an open secret, but off-limits to the hoi polloi. Now? It's out in the open. Just another 'news' article, with a 'leak' or two, just for the masses who believe this shit.

"O’Leary, at least, agreed to speak. I asked him about the top item on this
year’s agenda: “The Trump administration: a progress report”. What was
Bilderberg’s verdict?

O’Leary thought for a moment. “I would say … reasonable."

'Reasonable'! LOL! Trump's a fuckin' cartoon!

These are your new masters. Nevermind the 'elected' officials - they're just a bunch of overpaid actors. The real drivers of planet earth meet in secret meetings, with their secret handshakes and secret deeds. This shit about Qatar has already been discussed and planned by them ... for them.