ABU DHABI Aug 20 Qatar has sent its second
tanker this month of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Egypt,
struggling to cover its energy needs even before the removal of
Islamist President Mohamed Mursi unleashed deadly violence.
Qatar's state news agency said late on Monday the tanker
left Ras Laffan terminal on Aug. 9, a week after the first
cargo, part of an agreement made with Mursi and his Muslim
Brotherhood government, which were backed by Doha.
Doha agreed in June to supply Egypt, which suffers frequent
power cuts, with five shipments to cover some of its needs,
which increase during the hot summer.
The total amount agreed has not been revealed, but traders
say the shipments will only cover some of the gap in supply to
Egypt, which has borrowed billions of dollars from abroad and
delayed payments to oil companies and other suppliers.
The latest delivery seems to confirm that Qatar will honour
the deal despite the army's removal of Mursi after mass protests
and the resulting violence which has killed almost 900 people.
The Qatari foreign ministry has asked for the release of
jailed Muslim Brotherhood leaders and condemned the Egyptian
security forces' clearing of two pro-Mursi sit-ins last week.
The five shipments will probably be signed over to foreign
partners at the Egyptian LNG Idku export plant, GDF Suez
and BG Group, after Egypt failed to meet all
their needs with domestic gas.
The cargoes from Qatar will help Egypt meet demand for its
exports, helping Cairo channel more gas to the domestic market.
LNG producer Egypt has curbed exports in recent years due to
supply shortages and growing domestic needs.