International Business

Island LNG shipper caught up in US sanctions

  • Tough conditions: the LNG carrier Eduard Toll, one of the icebreaker tankers of the Yamal LNG Joint Venture

Operations of a Bermudian-based liquefied natural gas tanker company have been disrupted by US sanctions.

Teekay LNG Partners said its joint venture shipping natural gas from Northern Russia to China was “blocked” because of ties to Chinese shipping company Cosco — accused by the US of carrying Iranian crude oil.

The Yamal LNG joint venture was termed a “blocked person” under the sanctions, Teekay said, because its partner China LNG Shipping (Holding) is half-owned by Cosco Dalian.

“As a result of CLNG’s 50 per cent interest, the Yamal LNG Joint Venture also currently qualifies as a ‘Blocked Person’ under OFAC rules,” Teekay said, referring to the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.

“Teekay Group has not traded and will not trade with Iran and will not act in contravention of any trading sanctions,” Teekay said.

The news triggered a more than 10 per cent fall in shares of Teekay LNG on New York’s Nasdaq Stock Exchange this week.

Parent company Teekay Group also postponed the investor day in New York that it had planned to host today, “in order to fully focus on avoiding undue disruption to Teekay LNG’s business” as a result of the sanctions’ impact, the company said.

Teekay said it was “working with its joint venture partner to expeditiously resolve this issue”.

The Yamal LNG Joint Venture owns six Arc7 LNG carriers, icebreaker tankers designed to operate year-round transporting gas from the plant on the Yamal peninsula in northern Russia and to break up sea ice up to eight feet thick.

Teekay LNG is the world’s third largest independent owner and operator of LNG carriers, with a fleet of 56 double-hull tankers.

Teekay’s head office is in the Belvedere Building on Pitts Bay Road.

The author of this article owns preference shares in Teekay LNG Partners