Two Saudi oil tankers attacked off coast of Fujairah

fujairahTwo Saudi oil tankers came under sabotage attack off the coast of the UAE on Sunday 12 May, according to official Saudi reports

Saudi Arabia’s energy minister Khaled Al Falih said the oil tankers were attacked off the coast of Fujairah. One of the two vessels was on its way to be loaded with Saudi crude from the port of Ras Tanura, for delivery to Saudi Aramco’s customers in the USA.

According to the Minister, the attack did not result in any casualties or oil spill, but caused significant damage to the two vessels. 

The statement from Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Energy stressed the serious threat the attack posed to the security and safety of maritime navigation, and Saudi Arabia’s solidarity with the UAE. Al Falih also emphasised the joint responsibility of the international community to protect the safety of maritime navigation and the security of oil tankers, given the danger to energy markets and the global economy.

This incident follows earlier reports from the UAE of four vessels being sabotaged off Fujairah. Neither Saudi Arabia nor the UAE has publicly offered any views as to who may be responsible for the attacks. Fujairah has strategic significance as its port is an important global bunkering hub situated just outside the Strait of Hormuz, a vital shipping waterway for the global oil market. 

Tensions have risen in the region in recent weeks with the USA increasing its military presence in the Middle East due to deteriorating relations with Iran. The USA’s Maritime Administration has issued an alert to commercial shipping of the potential threat of an Iranian attack as tensions rise between the two countries.

Mihir Kapadia, CEO of Sun Global Investments, commenting on the fall in Gulf markets in response to the attacks, said, “The declines today in the Gulf markets reflect cautious sentiment amongst investors amid regional uncertainty. The sabotage attack of two Saudi oil tankers off the coast of the UAE have surprised investors who are already jittery due to rising trade tensions between the US and China. The attacks come at a time when tensions are heightened between the USA and Iran due to sanctions, and the current lack of named suspects is likely to unsettle investors further. Markets in the Gulf are likely to remain subdued as cautious investors monitor the situation in the coming days.”





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