A Dubai-owned LNG carrier has entered the Gulf of Aden en route for the Mediterranean, in what looks set to be the first full transit of the Red Sea and Suez Canal since mid-January, when vessels from this sector moved to avoid these waters amid the wave of Houthi attacks on merchant shipping.

Kpler data shows the 137,200-cbm steam turbine Asya Energy (built 2002), which is in ballast, as having been idle off the coast of Oman for several days before heading south-west towards the region around 11 June. Its destination is listed as Gibraltar.

TradeWinds reported last month that the ship, then named Trader IV, had been sold by Capital Gas for around $40m. At the time, brokers described the price as high for a vessel of this vintage, size and type.

The Lloyd’s Register-classed vessel is now listed as under the control of Dubai-based Nur Global Shipping.

It was renamed on 1 May and reflagged to Palau.

All LNG carriers have been avoiding the Red Sea and Suez Canal since mid-January, when attacks against merchant vessels by Yemen’s Houthi militia ramped up in response to the Israeli-Gaza conflict.

In April, trader Vitol created a stir when it sent its chartered LNG carrier, the 174,000-cbm Flex Volunteer (built 2021), south through the Suez Canal.

But the vessel was only delivering a cargo to the 160,000-cbm floating storage and regasification unit Energos Eskimo (built 2014) at Aqaba in Jordan in the most northerly waters of the Red Sea.

It returned north through the canal after delivering its cargo without heading further south into the waters where attacks had been occurring.