An oil tanker belonging to Israeli billionaire Idan Ofer’s company Eastern Pacific Shipping was allegedly hit by a “projectile” off the Omani coast on Tuesday, prompting crude prices to jump to over $94 per barrel.
According to people familiar with the situation cited by the Associated Press, the Pacific Zircon, loaded with gas oil, was struck by a bomb strapped to a drone about 240km off the coast of Oman on Tuesday night. “We are in communication with the vessel and there is no reports of injuries or pollution. All crew are safe and accounted for,” Eastern Pacific Shipping said. “There is some minor damage to the vessel’s hull but no spillage of cargo or water ingress.”
An Israeli official told AP that Iran was allegedly behind the attack, using a Shahed-136 exploding drone, which coincidentally is the same drone currently supplied to the Russian military and used to decimate Ukrainian infrastructure. “It is an Iranian attack, there is a consensus on this in the Israeli intelligence and defense community,” the individual said. Indeed, Israel and Tehran have been embroiled in a years-long conflict in the Middle East, with drone attacks frequently targeting Israeli vessels traveling across the region.
“The risk of attacks against shipping and energy infrastructure in the wider region is rising mainly due to the lack of progress in U.S.-Iranian nuclear diplomacy and the decision by the Washington to apply further sanctions pressure on Iran,” said risk intelligence firm Verisk Maplecroft analyst Torbjorn Soltvedt. “There is not just an increasing risk of disruptive attacks against energy infrastructure in the region, but also a growing risk of a wider military confrontation with more serious consequences for world energy markets.”
Information for this briefing was found via the AP. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.