‘Rare’ LNG Vessel Sails Through Red Sea Amid Houthi Attacks

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  • An LNG Tanker sailed through the Red Sea days after Houthis sank a bulk carrier in the Red Sea.
  • Since January, Asya Energy was the first tanker to pass Yemen and travel via the Red Sea and the Bab al-Mandeb Strait.
  • LNG Trips were suspended through the Red Sea due to Houthi attacks and the use of missiles and drones.

Just days after Houthi militants in Yemen sank the second vessel of their attacks that began last November, the first LNG tanker has been sailing through Red Sea since January, reports Marine Insight.

First LNG tanker crosses the Red Sea since January

Shiptracking data provided by LSEG and Kpler revealed that Asya Energy passed Yemen on Tuesday while travelling through the Bab al-Mandab Strait, at the same time as the second vessel believed to have suffered a militant attack sank.

Olumide Ajayi, LSEG analyst, said: “Asya Energy’s LNG tanker is the first LNG vessel to sail through Strait since January when LNG voyages across the Red Sea were suspended due to repeated rocket attacks.” He added that data showed the ship carried cargo.

After repeated Houthi drone and missile attacks in the Red Sea area, most LNG tankers avoided the route. The attacks have spread to other waterways and are viewed as acts of solidarity between Palestinians and Israel in the Gaza war.

The Suez Canal connects the Red Sea with the Mediterranean Sea, creating the shortest route between Europe, Asia and Africa. It is also connected to the Gulf of Aden via the Bab al-Mandab Strait, which runs between Yemen and Djibouti.

Kpler data indicates that Asya Energy, a company flying the flag of Palau, is headed to Gibraltar. LSEG data shows that it previously stopped at the Sohar Port in Oman. The charterer of the ship was not immediately apparent.

Equasis showed that Lule One Services owns the ship and is managed by Nur Global Shipping. Both companies are based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Nur Global Shipping didn’t respond immediately to a LinkedIn request for comment.

Ana Subasic is a natural gas and LNG analyst with Kpler. She said that the Asya Energy could soon be the first vessel to make the Red Sea Passage since Jan. 12, after waiting along the coast of Oman from mid-January.

She said that the automatic identification system (AIS), which is a signal fed to our platform, shows that the ballast vessel set its course to the Gibraltar Checkpoint. However, it’s too early to make an accurate prediction.

Leading industry groups have called on urgent action to stop Houthi attacks in the Red Sea. Their first ship, the British-owned Rubymar on March 2, was sunk two weeks after it had been hit by missiles.

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Source: Marine Insight