Two oil tankers damaged in suspected attack in Gulf of Oman

Investigations are underway into the attack, which follows weeks of tension and attacks on oil infrastructure

Image for illustrative purposes only
Image for illustrative purposes only

Two oil tankers were damaged near the Strait of Hormuz, according to the US Fifth Fleet, Bloomberg reports.

Just weeks ago four oil tankers were sabotaged off the coast of UAE emirate Fujairah, and two oil pumping stations were attack by an explosives-laden drone in Saudi Arabia. Yemen's Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for the latter attack.

Bloomberg reported that the Fifth Fleet, which is based in Bahrain, received two distress signals at 7AM.  A spokesperson said that US Navy ships were assisting the attacked tankers, and Iran said it rescued 44 sailors.

Bloomberg quoted the manager of the tanker Kokuka Courageous, which was delivering a shipment of methanol from Saudi Arabia to Singapore, as saying that the vessel was "damaged as a result of the suspected attack.” 

The Strait of Hormuz is a strategic point for global crude, through which around 17.5mn barrels of crude passes per day.

A statement by Bernhard Schulte GmbH & Co KG noted that the ship was not in danger of sinking and the cargo was still intact, although the hull was breached. Bloomberg reported that Norwegian tanker Front Altair sent a distress signal to Fujairah, having loaded an oil shipment in Abu Dhabi.

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Oil & Gas Middle East - July 2019

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