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Norwegian Chemical Tanker Is The Latest Target of Red Sea Attacks

Norway-owned M/V Swan Atlantic chemical tanker was attacked in the Red Sea on Monday in the latest attack on vessels in the Red Sea off the coast of Yemen, which have prompted oil majors and cargo shipping giants to temporarily halt navigation through the area.

The water tank of Swan Atlantic, owned by Inventor Chemical Tankers of Norway, has been damaged in the attack, but systems were operating normally, Inventor Chemical Tankers’ chief executive Oystein Elgan told Reuters.                                                  

The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) said in an advisory on Monday a vessel was attacked around 24 nautical miles southeast of the port of Mokha, Yemen. It wasn’t immediately clear if the vessel was Swan Atlantic, Reuters notes.  

Attacks on commercial vessels near the Yemeni coast in the Red Sea have intensified in recent days and maritime security firms and U.S. officials report daily incidents about attacks by the Iran-aligned Houthi rebels in Yemen who continue to attack commercial vessels near the most important oil trade chokepoints in the Gulf. 

The spate of attacks in recent days has prompted many shipping and trading companies to suspend temporarily navigation through the Red Sea.

Oil supermajor BP said on Monday it is temporarily suspending all transit via the Red Sea. The world’s largest shipping lines have also announced the suspension of travel through the Red Sea amid the string of attacks by Yemen's Houthis and, most recently, Somali pirates. Maersk Tankers, Moller-Maersk, Hapag-Lloyd, and MSC all said their vessels would be avoiding the Suez Canal until the security situation improves. The most recent addition to this group was French CMA CGM.

On Monday, Evergreen said it would temporarily suspend Israel's import and export service due to rising risk and safety considerations with immediate effect until further notice. Evergreen has also instructed its container ships to suspend navigation through the Red Sea until further notice.

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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