UAE re-imposes ban on Qatari-linked oil tankers

The growing diplomatic and economic boycott of Qatar took another turn, as Abu Dhabi Petroleum Ports Authority re-imposed a ban on oil tankers linked to Qatar calling at ports in the United Arab Emirates, potentially creating a logjam of crude cargoes.

The Port Authority circular of this new measure states: “Denial of entry into any of the Petroleum Ports, for all vessels arriving from, or destined to Qatar, regardless of its flag.” That was followed by a notice from the UAE’s state-owned Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC).

The ban on all vessels carrying the Qatari flag and vessels owned or operated by Qatar remains in place and those ships will not be allowed into its petroleum ports, the port authority circulars said.

The Abu Dhabi port authorities had eased the restrictions just a day earlier.

The ban would potentially disrupt the common industry practice of co-loading oil cargoes from different countries onto a tanker to lower the costs of shipping. Preventing the co-loading of Qatari and other Middle East grades could add to refiners’ transport costs and create logistical jams.

Qatar is among the smallest of the Middle Eastern oil producers and refiners will load crude from there alongside bigger suppliers such as Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest crude exporter, and the UAE.

Re-tightening the restrictions on ships to and from Qatar will exacerbate the logistical issues that started on June 5 when Arab countries including Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and Yemen severed ties with Qatar for allegedly funding terrorism.