Amidst the US-Iran tensions, two oil tankers were hit in a suspected attack in the Gulf of Oman early on Thursday. Following the reports, US crude oil futures rose as much as 4%.
The tankers were struck in the same area where the US accused Iran of using naval mines to sabotage four other oil ships in an attack a month ago.
The attacks have ratcheted up existing tensions in the region, where Iran has long been at loggerheads with Saudi Arabia and the UAE -- most recently over the civil war in Yemen.
One of the ships, the Norwegian-owned Front Altair, was "suspected of being hit by a torpedo”, according to Taiwan’s state-owned petrol company.And according to Bernhard Schulte Ship management, the second tanker, Kokuka Courageous, was damaged in a "suspected attack" that breached the hull above the water line while on passage from Saudi Arabia to Singapore.
However, the company said the ship was safely afloat.
The US Navy claimed that it helped the evacuation of the two damaged tankers and the shipping companies said the crews of both ships were safe.
The attack happened away from the Strait of Hormuz,which is the strategic waterway between Iran and Oman to transport around 20 per cent of all the world’s oil.
Neither the shipping companies nor the US Navy made any immediate accusations but early suspicions will fall on Iran.
A US Navy spokesman said that they are aware of the reported attack on shipping vessels in the Gulf of Oman. US Naval Forces in the region received two separate distress calls at 6:12 a.m. local (Bahrain) time and a second one at 7:00 a.m. US Navy ships are in the area and are rendering assistance, the spokesman confirmed.
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