• 2 hours Thanksgiving Gas Prices At 3-Year High
  • 6 hours Iraq’s Giant Majnoon Oilfield Attracts Attention Of Supermajors
  • 8 hours South Iraq Oil Exports Close To Record High To Offset Kirkuk Drop
  • 12 hours Iraqi Forces Find Mass Graves In Oil Wells Near Kirkuk
  • 12 hours Chevron Joint Venture Signs $1.7B Oil, Gas Deal In Nigeria
  • 13 hours Iraq Steps In To Offset Falling Venezuela Oil Production
  • 15 hours ConocoPhillips Sets Price Ceiling For New Projects
  • 3 days Shell Oil Trading Head Steps Down After 29 Years
  • 3 days Higher Oil Prices Reduce North American Oil Bankruptcies
  • 3 days Statoil To Boost Exploration Drilling Offshore Norway In 2018
  • 3 days $1.6 Billion Canadian-US Hydropower Project Approved
  • 3 days Venezuela Officially In Default
  • 4 days Iran Prepares To Export LNG To Boost Trade Relations
  • 4 days Keystone Pipeline Leaks 5,000 Barrels Into Farmland
  • 4 days Saudi Oil Minister: Markets Will Not Rebalance By March
  • 4 days Obscure Dutch Firm Wins Venezuelan Oil Block As Debt Tensions Mount
  • 4 days Rosneft Announces Completion Of World’s Longest Well
  • 4 days Ecuador Won’t Ask Exemption From OPEC Oil Production Cuts
  • 5 days Norway’s $1 Trillion Wealth Fund Proposes To Ditch Oil Stocks
  • 5 days Ecuador Seeks To Clear Schlumberger Debt By End-November
  • 5 days Santos Admits It Rejected $7.2B Takeover Bid
  • 5 days U.S. Senate Panel Votes To Open Alaskan Refuge To Drilling
  • 5 days Africa’s Richest Woman Fired From Sonangol
  • 5 days Oil And Gas M&A Deal Appetite Highest Since 2013
  • 5 days Russian Hackers Target British Energy Industry
  • 5 days Venezuela Signs $3.15B Debt Restructuring Deal With Russia
  • 6 days DOJ: Protestors Interfering With Pipeline Construction Will Be Prosecuted
  • 6 days Lower Oil Prices Benefit European Refiners
  • 6 days World’s Biggest Private Equity Firm Raises $1 Billion To Invest In Oil
  • 6 days Oil Prices Tank After API Reports Strong Build In Crude Inventories
  • 6 days Iraq Oil Revenue Not Enough For Sustainable Development
  • 6 days Sudan In Talks With Foreign Oil Firms To Boost Crude Production
  • 7 days Shell: Four Oil Platforms Shut In Gulf Of Mexico After Fire
  • 7 days OPEC To Recruit New Members To Fight Market Imbalance
  • 7 days Green Groups Want Norway’s Arctic Oil Drilling Licenses Canceled
  • 7 days Venezuelan Oil Output Drops To Lowest In 28 Years
  • 7 days Shale Production Rises By 80,000 BPD In Latest EIA Forecasts
  • 7 days GE Considers Selling Baker Hughes Assets
  • 7 days Eni To Address Barents Sea Regulatory Breaches By Dec 11
  • 7 days Saudi Aramco To Invest $300 Billion In Upstream Projects

Breaking News:

Thanksgiving Gas Prices At 3-Year High

Alt Text

The Surprise Winners Of The Oil Price Rally

The recent rally in oil…

Alt Text

Oil Survives Bearish Backlash

Crude benchmarks posted steep losses…

Alt Text

New Battery Design Could Crush Tesla

Elon Musk’s old rival, Henrik…

Zainab Calcuttawala

Zainab Calcuttawala

Zainab Calcuttawala is an American journalist based in Morocco. She completed her undergraduate coursework at the University of Texas at Austin (Hook’em) and reports on…

More Info

Yemen War Threatens Crucial Oil Chokepoint

Bab Al-Mandab Strait

The Bab al-Mandan strait, which facilitates the transfer of 4 million barrels of oil to Middle Eastern markets everyday, has become increasingly contentious over the past few weeks as an international navel coalition grows its presence in the area.

"Recent attacks against merchant shipping in the Gulf of Aden and Bab Al Mandeb have highlighted that there are still risks associated with transits through these waters,” the leadership of the Combined Maritime Forces, which boasts vessels from 31 nations, said on Monday. The U.S.-led group is based in Bahrain and guards the Gulf of Aden.

In early June, unidentified forces attacked a Marshall Islands-flagged tanker from a vessel disguised as a fishing boat. Three grenades later, no member of the tanker’s crew suffered any injuries and it continued its voyage into the Red Sea.

In January, Houthi rebels, backed by Iran, attacked a Saudi frigate in waters near Yemen. Two people died in what the KSA said was a suicide attack.

Other waters near Yemen have seen attacks. Last night, Saudi Arabia’s state-run news agency reported that Houthis targeted an Emirati vessel as it departed from the Red Sea port of Mokha. The incident did not damage the ship, but one sailor suffered wounds. San’aa-based Al-Masdar news said the incident involved the Yemeni navy attacking a Saudi vessel carrying ammunition to its allied forces, but this claim appears erroneous. “Death to America, death to Israel!” can be heard in the background of a video of the attack posted by the same site, which editorially favors the Houthis. Related: OPEC Members Pursue Own Agenda As Glut Persists

Vessels in the Gulf of Aden have also had a few close calls on pirate attacks, which were ultimately thwarted by CMF ships nearby. The total number of incidents is still far below figures from 2011, a period in which Somali pirates carried out 237 attacks and took hundreds of people hostage.

The humanitarian crisis in Yemen worsens as the proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia rages on, and control over the Bab al-Mandab strait is the grand prize for the victor of the Yemeni civil war. The narrow waterway sees the passage of billions of dollars worth of crude supplies and other goods every year, including aid to Yemen, whose entire health system is on the “brink of collapse” in the wake of a cholera outbreak, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross.

For Iran and Saudi Arabia, tight control over the strait equates to domination of African energy markets, which expect to see exponential growth in oil and natural gas demand in the next decade.

Back in the United States, congressional leadership has failed to garner enough votes to block President Donald Trump’s planned sale of $500 million in weapons to Saudi Arabia. Democratic Senator Chris Murphy and Republican Senator Rand Paul had been campaigning to get the bill passed for several days, but the initiative failed with a 47-53 vote. Still, the lawmakers believe the bill serves as a warning for Riyadh. Related: Shale Efficiency Has Peaked… For Now

“This is an important message to the Saudis that we are all watching,” Murphy said after the vote. “And if they continue to target civilians and they continue to stop humanitarian aid from getting into Yemen, this vote will continue to go in the wrong direction for them.”

Paul tweeted: “We can’t make them be like us, but we don’ have to encourage their behavior by giving them weapons that may fall into the hands of enemies.”

Trade routes surrounding the Suez Canal are already geopolitically tense from the Gulf spat between Saudi Arabia and Qatar. New attacks on vessels crossing the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea add fuel to the fire, as American and European leaders take a hands-off approach to the Yemen crisis.

By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:




Back to homepage


Leave a comment

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News