Update: Aramco Halts Oil Shipments through Bab El-Mandeb after Attack on Bahri’s VLCCs
The Saudi Arabian oil company Saudi Aramco has suspended all oil shipments through Bab El-Mandeb following yesterday’s attack on two very large crude oil carriers.
Initial reports from Reuters said that one crude had been attacked by the Houthi movement while underway in the Red Sea on Wednesday, July 25.
However, as indicated by Saudi Aramco, two VLCCs were targeted by Houthi fighters and one of them suffered minor damage.
Both ships are operated by the Saudi National Shipping Company, Bahri, which confirmed the incident as well.
#Bahri announces that one of its VLCCs had an incident on Wednesday 25/07/2018 while sailing in the Red Sea. The VLCC suffered minor damage and no human injuries or environmental damage have been reported.
— Bahri | البحري (@OneBahri) July 25, 2018
The crude carriers were transporting Saudi Aramco’s crude oil when they were attacked on Wednesday morning.
No injuries nor oil spill have been reported, the country’s oil major said.
“In the interest of the safety of ships and their crews and to avoid the risk of oil spill, Saudi Aramco has temporarily halted all oil shipments through Bab El-Mandeb with immediate effect. The company is carefully assessing the situation and will take further action as prudence demands,” Saudi Aramco added.
The attack is being reported three months after Bahri’s tanker MT Abqaiq was shot by a projectile by Houthi fighters while underway south-west of the port of Al Hudaydah in Yemen, on April 3.
Attacks on Saudi commercial vessels by the Houthi movement and threats to block the Red Sea shipping lane come in the aftermath of the coalition’s closure of Red Sea ports back in November last year causing humanitarian crisis in the country amid restricted inflow of basic food and provisions.
Over 22 million people in Yemen are in need of humanitarian aid, according to UN, as the famine-gripped country is pushed deeper into the armed conflict.
World Maritime News Staff