Saudi Arabia stops Red Sea oil flow after Houthi attack

  • Saudi Arabia stops Red Sea oil flow after Houthi attack

Saudi Arabia stops Red Sea oil flow after Houthi attack

The Saudi energy minister said no crude shipments will pass through Bab al-Mandeb strait until it's safe.

One of the coalition's main justifications for intervening in Yemen's war in 2015 was to protect shipping routes such as the Red Sea.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, struck a surprise agreement on Wednesday that alleviated the risk of an immediate trade war. Trump withdrew from the 2015 Iran deal brokered by Europe, the USA and other global powers, in May - a move that both Saudi Arabia and the UAE backed.

One of the vessels sustained minor damage in Wednesday´s attack and there were no casualties, the Saudi national oil company Aramco said, while the Huthis said they targeted a Saudi warship.

'The Red Sea, which was secure, is no longer secure with the American presence, ' Soleimani said.

The Secretary-General of the Organization, Dr. Yousef Bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen said: "The repeated attacks by Houthi militias on vessels passing through this strategic corridor negatively affect the security of the important waterways of trade and the global economy, exacerbate the instability in this region of the world and affirm the aggressive policy of these militias aiming to threaten the security of navigation in the Red Sea and destabilize the countries bordering it".

The Houthis have previously threatened to block the straits, and said on Thursday that they have the ability to attack Saudi ports.

"A spike in oil prices. may be short-lived, but the impact on Yemen´s forgotten war is likely to put the devastating conflict on the front burner", he said.

In response, Saudi Arabia has suspended oil shipments through the Bab El-Mandeb Strait for an undisclosed period of time.

Saudi Arabia said it was "temporarily halting" all oil shipments after an attack on two oil tankers by Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthi movement.

Dire strait Bab-el-Mandeb.
Google Maps
Dire strait Bab-el-Mandeb. Google Maps

Russian energy minister Alexander Novak on Friday said the market remains volatile and responds to verbal interventions, adding that the market has priced in risks related to US sanctions against Iran.

The Saudi-led coalition, which includes the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt, accused the crew of air space violation and of jeopardising the safety of four passengers onboard.

The United Arab Emirates, whose forces in the coalition have been spearheading the Hodeida assault, has warned that troops could "liberate" the port city if those efforts fail.

"The attack is an act of terrorism that has threatened regional security and peace", he said in a statement.

But the alliance did not make major gains in its offensive and on July 1 it called a halt to operations to give the United Nations efforts a chance.

Also from the EIA, an estimated 4.8 million barrels per day of crude oil and refined petroleum products flowed through this waterway in 2016 toward Europe, the United States and Asia.

The United Nations fears that cutting off Hodeidah may trigger a famine in Yemen, where around 8.4 million people are believed to be on the verge of starvation.

Bahri confirmed today that one of its VLCCs was damaged in what it described as an incident in the Red Sea.

The Bab al-Mandeb strait is only 18 miles (29 km) wide, making hundreds of ships potentially an easy target.

Following the attack, the Saudi coalition said the rebels "had nearly caused an environmental disaster", according to the state-run al-Ekhbariya TV channel.