In a record-breaking deal, BP has chartered the ship LNG Abalamabie for $350,000 per day. It is the most expensive cargo-ship charter in history, surpassing the $300,000-per-day peak previously recorded in the very large crude carrier (VLCC) segment. The price of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and shipping rates have hit record highs because of the bottleneck, supply constraints and heavy demand from Asia, where freezing weather has placed the energy supply system under strain. The spike in prices and demand is the culmination of a deeper trend as China, India and other Asian nations have bought LNG as part of efforts to diversify from coal. Congestion delaying LNG shipments via the Panama Canal is expected to last through the peak demand winter months with ships carrying LNG from the United States to Asian markets waiting for up to two weeks in December to navigate the canal.