Red Sea: Russian Gazprom Tankers Also Change Course

Ships carrying liquefied natural gas from Russia to China fear attacks by Yemeni Houthis

The Houthis, a pro-Iranian Yemeni group, spare no one. Despite explicit security guarantees offered to Russia and China by Yemen’s military leaders, Russian oil and gas giant Gazprom has been forced to send its methane carriers to transport liquefied natural gas (LNG) to China, avoiding transit through the Suez Canal and then the Red Sea due to increased attacks by the Houthis.

According to the authoritative Russian newspaper Vedomosti, citing data from the marine navigation analysis agency Kpler, the new route of Russian methane carriers runs along the African coast and around the Cape of Good Hope. “Changing the route through Africa increases logistics costs for Gazprom, as it is 1.5 times longer,” Vedomosti wrote. Analysts warn that if the vessel were to be struck, the incident could result in a large financial loss for the company, given the shortage of such vessels. According to experts quoted by Vedomosti, Gazprom’s transportation costs have risen by $21 per thousand cubic meters of gas.

Meanwhile, Gazprom said on May 27 that it continues to send 42.4 million cubic meters of natural gas per day to Europe via the Suja distribution station in Ukraine. According to the Gazprom representative, the volume increased slightly compared to the previous day: on May 26, the company delivered 42.2 million cubic meters of gas to European consumers. The agreement between Gazprom and Ukraine on the transit of Russian gas expires at the end of 2024.