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Oil Tanker Shot at in Strait of Hormuz

An oil tanker was fired upon by armed men in a skiff as it made its way through the Strait of Hormuz on March 30. Using an assault rifle, the skiff fired at the Aframax tanker Album at about 2:15 p.m. local time, but the tanker evaded the attack. Bloomberg News reported that Abdul Shahid Khashan, a security officer with Arab Marine Petroleum Transport Co., the owner of the oil tanker, said that he didn’t believe the armed men were trying to hijack the ship. The ship activated hoses to repel the skiff, which turned away after coming within five meters of the tanker. The Album was traveling to a Saudi port but was not carrying any crude oil at the time.

A separate incident occurred when the Stena Supreme was approached by two skiffs near the Strait of Hormuz on March 30. The skiffs were carrying three to four armed men in military clothing. A Suezmax tanker, the Supreme was carrying a full load of crude oil at the time of the incident. The Chief Executive Officer of the Concordia Maritime AB, which owns the Supreme, affirmed that the ship escaped the incident unharmed. “Our ship has not been under attack,” he said by telephone. “The ship is fine.” The skiffs turned away after coming within 150 meters of the tanker.

Related Article: Libya & Egypt Energy Advisory

The Strait of Hormuz is not typically an area that suffers from a high occurrence of pirate attacks. But it is considered by the EIA to be one of the world’s most significant choke points for oil transit as it sees about 17 million barrels of crude oil pass through its waters every day. Naval ships under NATO command patrol the nearby Indian Ocean to protect commercial ships from pirates.

By James Burgess of Oilprice.com



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