LNG carrier Wilforce, en route to Barcelona, has been permitted to transit the Suez Canal while loaded with LNG from Qatar. The Norwegian-flagged LNG carrier, owned by Teekay LNG Partners and operated by Awilco LNG, loaded its cargo in Ras-Laffan, Qatar on May 29th. Two Golar-owned LNG carriers, Golar Glacier and Golar Celsius, are also heading toward the canal.
The news confirmed reports that Egyptian authorities were allowing the transit of ships through the canal from Qatar because the canal is a designated international waterway, rather than Egyptian. There had been uncertainty regarding the impact of the recent bans imposed by Middle Eastern countries, including Egypt, on Qatar and the shipping industry Some tankers appear to have been diverted around the Cape of Good Hope instead of transiting via Suez.