Bahri confirms VLCC ‘incident’ in Red Sea after militant attack reports
Saudi Arabia’s shipping group Bahri released a statement Wednesday confirming that one of its oil tankers suffered minor damage due to an incident in the Red Sea.
The statement came after the Saudi-led military coalition reported that Yemen’s Houthi movement attacked a Saudi oil tanker in the Red Sea, causing slight damage, but did not name the vessel.
“The VLCC (Very Large Crude Carrier) suffered minor damage and no human injuries or environmental damage have been reported,” Bahri said in the statement without elaborating.
On Wednesday, Saudi Arabia's state oil company announced that it would suspend all shipments through the Strait of Bab el-Mandeb after an attack on its tankers off the coast of Yemen.
The halt will affect the flow of crude from the world's top oil exporter to markets in Europe and the United States. Bahri is the shipping and transport arm of the state oil company.
"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," Aramco said in a statement.
Wednesday's incidents were the latest in a long series of Houthi attacks on merchant and naval vessels off the coast of Yemen. In April, Houthi armed militias conducted a missile attack on the tanker Abqaiq, resulting slight damage to her bow. At the time, Minister al Falih said that the attack would not "affect economic activity or stall oil supplies."