Qatar pauses all LNG shipments in Red Sea following U.S. bombing of Houthis
By Ethan Huff // Jan 17, 2024

A broader regional conflict is erupting in the Middle East after intense bombing by the United States against the Houthis in Yemen has driven Qatar to pause all shipments of liquefied natural gas (LNG).

In recent days, numerous major shippers including Maersk have rerouted their vessels away from the embattled Red Sea, which is currently the location of escalating Houthi retaliation against the U.S. and Israel over their "best friendship"-inspired war on Gaza.

The Cape of Good Hope at the southern tip of Africa is the new route for many global shippers that are steering clear of the Middle East for the time being, and for their own protection and viability amid rapidly deteriorating diplomatic conditions.

The supply chain disruptions that have resulted from the various bombing campaigns in the Red Sea by the Houthis triggered the West, including the United Kingdom, to start launching bombing raids on Houthi targets.

QatarEnergy, the world's second-largest exporter of LNG, has since abandoned the waterway entirely, according to reports.

"It is a pause to get security advice, if passing [through the] Red Sea remains unsafe, we will go via the Cape," said a company source about the matter.

(Related: The U.S. government says a Houthi missile hit a U.S.-owned cargo ship the other day.)

Is there a coming LNG shortage?

Europe relies heavily on LNG from Qatar, as does the U.S. Any disruptions in shipments of this critical fuel, including even delays caused by rerouting LNG vessels around the Cape of Good Hope, threatens to collapse entire economies.

Should the perfect storm arrive amid all this, it could trigger a global black swan event that few are expecting. Once that happens, the regional conflict in the Middle East will almost certainly go global in a hot second.

The good news for Europe is that its natural gas inventories are currently hovering around 80 percent, which is well above the 10-year average. The reason for this is that weather conditions in the Northern Hemisphere have been relatively warm so far.

If really cold weather arrives, all of that will change in an instant. It is now a waiting game to see which domino tips the others to cascade this whopper of a collapse into full-blown motion, probably at some point this year.

"I'm surprised Russia isn't taking this as an opportunity to 'return the favor' for what the U.S. and the UK are doing to them in Ukraine by sending weapons and supplies to the Houthis," one commenter on a story about all this expressed.

"If only Europe had a pipeline to carry gas cheaply and securely, if only," joked another, referring to Russia. "Who is the world's largest LNG exporter?"

"Once again, we blindly bumble into a hornet's nest without a plan," said another about the ridiculousness of the West's bizarre behavior these days.

"Qatar is a Pentagon colony," said someone else. "They're more or less hostages or slaves, 100 percent controlled by military presence. The leaders are compensated but with full understanding if they step out of line, they will be 'couped' in an instant."

Others noted that we are now witnessing the very clear signs of World War III, which many would argue is currently in motion – though at a relatively slow pace, which is keeping the masses dulled and distracted as they slow-boil like the frog in the pot.

"All of the west's foreign policy and military strategy seems directed at suicide!" asked another. "Are the leaders that stupid, or is this the plan ... eliminate the West as a power in the world?"

More related news about the escalating nightmare in the Middle East can be found at

Sources for this article include:

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