U.S. Urges Response "short of war" to Tanker Attack
The U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia said Washington should take what he called "reasonable responses short of war" after it had determined who was behind attacks on oil tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates.Iran was a prime suspect in the sabotage on Sunday although Washington had no conclusive proof, a U.S. official familiar with American intelligence said on Monday. Iran has denied involvement."We need to do a thorough investigation to understand what happened, why it happened, and then come up with reasonable responses short of war," Ambassador John Abizaid told reporters in the Saudi capital Riyadh in remarks published on Tuesday."It's not in (Iran's) interest…
Saudi Tankers Among Those Hit off UAE Coast
Saudi Arabia said on Monday that two of its oil tankers were among those attacked off the coast of the United Arab Emirates and said it was an attempt to undermine the security of crude supplies amid tensions between the United States and Iran.The UAE said on Sunday that four commercial vessels were sabotaged near Fujairah emirate, one of the world's largest bunkering hubs lying just outside the Strait of Hormuz, but did not describe the nature of the attack or say who was behind it.The UAE had not given the nationalities or other details about the ownership of the four vessels.
Oman: Gas Production to Surpass Oil by 2023
Oman’s gas production levels are set to surpass oil by 2023 thanks to an impressive surge in the development of gas fields in the sultanate, according to Rystad Energy, the independent energy research and consulting firm headquartered in Norway.“Gas is on the rise in the Arab country on the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia, and this transition is very timely. Oil output declines over the last two years may indicate a point of no return for Omani oil…
38 Migrants Confirmed Dead Off Djibouti After Boats Capsize
More than 100 migrants are believed missing and 38 confirmed dead off the coast of Djibouti after two boats capsized, the U.N. migration agency said on Wednesday.The overcrowded boats, carrying mostly Ethiopians, had set sail on rough seas when they capsized shortly after departing Djibouti, said Lalini Veerassamy, chief of mission in Djibouti for the International Organization for Migration.Djibouti's coastguard is continuing its search for survivors, she said, adding that beyond the IMO's rough estimate it was not clear how many more migrants might be missing.Many thousands of migrants from the Horn of Africa region board boats from Djibouti each year, hoping to cross to the Arabian Peninsula in search of work. (Reuters, Reporting by Maggie Fick Editing by Gareth Jones)
Middle East Oil & Gas Shipping Routes are at Risk
Saudi Arabia said on Thursday it was suspending oil shipments through the Red Sea after Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthis attacked two crude tankers, underscoring risks caused by the conflict in the world's top oil exporting region.Iran, in its row with the United States over sanctions, has also threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz, the other major strategic shipping route for oil from the region and the main route for Iranian crude exports.Below are facts about region's shipping routes:Bab al-MandebAny move to block the Bab al-Mandeb…
Five People Dead, 40 Missing in Yemen's Socotra After Cyclone
Five people were killed and at least 40 missing on the Yemeni island of Socotra on Friday as Cyclone Mekunu pummelled the area then made its way towards the Arabian Peninsula's southern coast.The five dead included four Yemenis and one Indian national, residents and medical sources told Reuters, while the missing including Yemenis, Indians and Sudanese.Yemen declared a state of emergency on Thursday for Socotra, which lies between southern Yemen and the Horn of Africa and is renowned for its unique animal and plant life.Largely untouched by Yemen's three-year-old war, it is under the control of the internationally-recognised government whose president…
Tropical Storm Hits Yemen's Socotra
Yemen declared a state of emergency on the island of Socotra on Thursday as a tropical storm intensified after flooding several villages and capsizing boats to leave at least 17 people missing, government officials said. Socotra, which lies between the Arabian Peninsula and the Horn of Africa, has been largely untouched by Yemen's three-year-old war. It is under the control of the internationally recognized government whose president, Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi, is in exile in Saudi Arabia. The island "requires urgent aid to help people stranded in their villages or those who reside in the mountains," government spokesman Rajeh Badi told state news agency SABA. He said 17 people were missing after two boats capsized and three cars were washed away by floods.
Dryad Maritime Urges for Overhaul of Maritime Intelligence Industry
Dryad Maritime is calling on the maritime industry to develop a Standardisation Agreement (STANAG) setting minimum standards for the production of intelligence. "The threat is changing. Ship owners and operators no longer simply face a sporadic pirate threat in the Indian Ocean but are routinely deploying armed security teams to counter the threat of Water Bourne IED in the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait located between Yemen on the Arabian Peninsula, and Djibouti and Eritrea in the Horn of Africa," it said in a statement.
US Sees Piracy Increase off Somalia Tied to Famine
The United States is closely watching a recent increase in piracy off the coast of Somalia, a senior U.S. military official said on Sunday as Defense Secretary Jim Mattis visited an important military base in Djibouti. The rise in piracy attacks has at least partially been driven by famine and drought in the region, the top U.S. military commander overseeing troops in Africa said during Mattis' visit as part of a week-long trip to the Middle East and Africa. The United States uses the base in Djibouti…
Evidence Suggests Houthi Role in Strike on US Warship
The United States is seeing growing indications that Iran-allied Houthi rebels, despite denials, were responsible for Sunday's attack on a Navy destroyer off the Yemen coast, U.S. officials told Reuters. The rebels appeared to use small skiffs as spotters to help direct a missile attack on the warship, said U.S. officials, who are not authorized to speak publicly because the investigation is ongoing. The United States is also investigating the possibility that a radar station under Houthi control in Yemen might have also "painted" the USS Mason…
Merchant Ships off Yemen Bracing for More Danger
Missile attacks from Yemen on Western military craft risk spilling over into nearby busy sea lanes which could disrupt oil supplies and also other vital goods passing through the tense area, shipping and insurance sources say. While shipping companies have yet to divert ships, there are growing worries that any further escalation could hinder oil supplies and potentially lead to higher insurance costs for shipments. The route is among the world's busiest and used by major shipping groups such as container line Maersk and oil tanker carriers including Norway's Frontline and Iran's NITC…
Arabian Shipping at Risk of Al Qaeda Attack
Al Qaeda's Yemen branch remains a powerful force and poses a growing risk to merchant ships in vital waterways nearby despite efforts by Yemeni government forces and their allies to push back the group, Reuters reports quoting a top officer in an international naval force. Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) confirmed on Saturday it had withdrawn from the southern Yemeni port of Mukalla - a week after Yemeni government and Emirati soldiers seized the city that was used by the Islamist militants to amass a fortune.
CRMG Cranes Arrive in Mersey for Liverpool2
The first six cantilever rail-mounted gantry (CRMG) cranes arrived in the River Mersey on Sunday, May 1 ready for installing and commissioning at the Liverpool2 deep-water container terminal. Produced by leading Chinese manufacturer ZPMC, which also supplied the five ship-to-shore cranes already on site, these six are the first of 12 required for phase 1 of the terminal. Ultimately the site will have eight STS and 22 CRMG cranes as part of a £100 million investment. The cranes will be capable of performing an average of 20 moves per hour…
VLCC Segment Shows Modest Growth
In the Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCC) segment, which showed modest growth in overall volume from 2014 to 2015, the main changes were concentrated in the eastern hemisphere, says a report by Tanker Research & Consulting department at Poten & Partners. In the Middle East, there was a significant increase in movements from the Arabian Gulf to the Red Sea. Reported VLCC fixtures increased almost fivefold from 12 in 2014 to 56 in 2015, mainly as a result of the startup of the 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) Yanbu refinery at the end of 2014, which is located on Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea coast.
Happy Reunion with CMA CGM
CMA CGM is offering more Reunion Island services as it positions the French department to be its hub in the Indian Ocean. CMA CGM presented its new strengthened services offer linking the Reunion Island during the inauguration of the Group’s new offices, on Tuesday 26th January. The event took place the day before the inauguration of the New Port Reunion. The Reunion Island now becomes CMA CGM Group’s maritime hub in the Indian Ocean. CMA CGM positions the Reunion Island as a strategic hub in the Indian Ocean: by offering 5 weekly calls compared to 3 previously…
Several Migrants Die in Sea off Somalia
Dozens of Ethiopian and Somali migrants died in the waters off the breakaway Somalia region of Somaliland when their vessel failed mechanically in the course of the voyage and drifted in the sea, a regional Somaliland official said. Ahmed Abdi Falay, the chairman or governor of Sanag region, said the boat, which had started its journey from the port of Bossaso two weeks ago and was heading to an unidentified port in the Arabian Peninsula, was discovered by the Somaliland Coast Guard.
China to Start Its First Naval Base in Africa
China is going to build a base in Djibouti, so that will be their first military location in Africa. With the establishment of a base in Djibouti, China joins the global contest for maritime and commercial supremacy, reports Al Jazeera. China has long had an economic foothold in Africa, but the base would be an expansion of its military prowess beyond the Asia-Pacific region. The agreement opens the door to the creation of a permanent Chinese military presence on the African…
STS Cranes For Liverpool2 Arrive
A giant vessel bearing five ‘megamax’ quayside cranes sailed up the River Mersey yesterday destined for the new Liverpool2 container terminal, completing the final stage of its voyage from China. The cranes originally set off from Shanghai in August passing south-east Asia, India, the Arabian Peninsula and Africa via the Cape of Good Hope en route to Liverpool in a journey of over 30,000km (18,000m, 16,400nm). The super-structures were produced by Chinese company, Zhenhua Heavy Industries Co (ZPMC)…
UN: Air Strikes on Yemen Port Could Worsen Aid Crisis
United Nations aid chief Stephen O'Brien said on Wednesday that air strikes by Saudi-led coalition airplanes on Yemen's Red Sea port of Hodeida were unacceptable and could worsen the country's humanitarian crisis. Hodeida, controlled by Iranian-allied Houthi forces, has become a focal point of efforts to resupply the impoverished Arab state, battered by five months of war that has killed over 4,300 people. "These attacks are in clear contravention of international humanitarian law and are unacceptable," O'Brien said of the Tuesday attacks on the port during a briefing to the 15-member U.N. Security Council. "I am extremely concerned that the damage to the port of Hodeida could have a severe impact on the entire country…
No Iran Warships Escorting Yemen-bound Cargo Ship
Iran has so far refrained from deploying warships to accompany a cargo ship that Tehran says is carrying humanitarian aid to Yemen, despite its announced plans to do so, Pentagon spokesman Colonel Steve Warren told a news briefing on Thursday. Yemen said on Wednesday that if Iran does not allow a cargo ship bound for the Arabian Peninsula to be searched, then Tehran "bears complete responsibility for any incident that arises from their attempt to enter Yemeni waters." The United States has criticized Iran's announced plans to send the ship directly to Yemen and urged Tehran to redirect the ship to Djibouti, from where the United Nations is coordinating aid distribution. (Reporting by Phil Stewart; Editing by Will Dunham)
Iranian Ships Fire Warning Shots at Singapore-flagged Vessel
Iranian naval vessels fired what appeared to be warning shots over a Singapore-flagged ship in international waters in the Gulf on Thursday, prompting it to flee to United Arab Emirates waters, U.S. officials said. The Alpine Eternity, a 29,130 gross tonnes oil products tanker, has safely reached the UAE port of Jebel Ali after coming under attack in the Gulf, its manager said. The UAE sent Coast Guard vessels toward the ship once it reached UAE waters and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy ships turned away, one U.S. official told Reuters, adding the account was based on preliminary information. The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, were unaware of any U.S. Navy involvement.
Yemen Says Iran to Blame for Any Incident Sparked by Cargo Ship
Iran said earlier on Wednesday it would not allow Saudi Arabia-led coalition forces to inspect the ship, which it says contains humanitarian aid. The ship left Iran on Monday and is being escorted by Iranian warships. "The Yemeni government and the coalition forces do not object to aid shipments entering Yemen as long as they obtain the necessary permits from the legitimate government of Yemen and are searched prior to entry," Yemen's U.N. mission told the U.N. Security Council in a letter, seen by Reuters.
Iran Complains of Foiled Yemen Aid as Ship Standoff Looms
Iran complained to the United Nations Security Council of the Saudi Arabia-led coalition's forces hindering its attempts to send aid to Yemen as a standoff loomed on Wednesday over an Iranian cargo ship bound for the Arabian Peninsula under military escort. Gulf Arab nations in the military coalition have since March 26 been bombing Houthi militia and allied army units that control much of Yemen as well as inspecting ships in a bid to stop weapons smuggling. Iran said on Wednesday it would not allow coalition forces to inspect the humanitarian shipment, which is being escorted by Iranian warships. Saudi Arabia has accused Tehran of arming the Houthis, charges the Islamic Republic denies.