Red Sea News

14 Oct 2019

Iran Urges Diplomacy, but Decries Tanker Incident

The M/T Sabiti (creditMarineTraffic.com / © Patrick Lawson)

Iran on Monday urged regional powers to use diplomacy to reduce tensions including Yemen's war, but cautioned that an Iranian tanker damaged in the Red Sea last week had been hit by rockets and there would have to be consequences.Addressing a news conference, President Hassan Rouhani reiterated policy towards the Trump administration, ruling out bilateral talks unless Washington returns to a landmark nuclear deal and lifts crippling U.S. economic sanctions.Tensions in the Gulf have risen to new highs since May 2018…

14 Oct 2019

Iran President: Video Footage of Attack on Iranian Tanker

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said an Iranian tanker damaged in the Red Sea on Friday had been hit by at least two rockets, and there is video footage of the incident.Iranian authorities reported that the Iranian-owned oil tanker, the Sabiti, was struck off Saudi Arabia's coast. There has been no independent report on the cause of the damage.Iran's rival Saudi Arabia has said it was not behind any attack on the tanker.

11 Oct 2019

Iranian Tanker Hit by Missiles, Oil Rises

© PhotoGranary/AdobeStock

Oil prices jumped more than 2% on Friday, October 11, 2019, after Iranian media said a state-owned oil tanker had been struck by missiles in the Red Sea near Saudi Arabia, raising the prospect of supply disruptions weeks after attacks on Saudi oil plants.The Suezmax crude tanker Sabiti was ablaze and suffered heavy damage after being hit by two missiles, Iranian media reported.Both oil benchmarks recorded their biggest daily rise since Sept. 16, the first trading day after the…

22 Sep 2019

Workshop on Clean Shipping in Red Sea

Pic: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

Measures for preventing air pollution from ships as well as energy efficiency requirements for ships are in the spotlight at a training event for eight countries in the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and the Gulf.The participating countries are Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan and United Arb Emirates.The regional workshop in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (17-19 September) has covered International Maritime Organization (IMO) 's MARPOL Annex VI treaty, which limits the main air pollutants contained in ships exhaust gas…

19 Sep 2019

Arab Coalition Says Foiled Houthi Attack in Red Sea

The Saudi-led coalition intercepted and destroyed an explosives-laden boat launched by the Iran-aligned Houthi movement from Yemen's main port of Hodeidah, Al Arabiya TV said on Thursday.It said the Western-backed, Sunni Muslim coalition foiled "an imminent terrorist act by the Houthi militia south of the Red Sea" but gave no further details.There was no immediate confirmation by the Houthi group which had claimed responsibility for last weekend's attacks on Saudi oil facilities. Riyadh has rejected the claim and said those strikes did not come from Yemen. (Reporting by Maher Chmaytelli and Ghaida Ghantous Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

09 Aug 2019

MSCI Advisory Strait of Hormuz Precautions

This revised advisory cancels U.S. Maritime Advisories 2019-004 and 2019-008.1. References: U.S. Maritime Alerts 2019-004A, 2019-003A, 2019-002A, and 2019-001A.2. Issue: Heightened military activity and increased political tensions in this region continue to pose serious threats to commercial vessels. Associated with these threats is a potential for miscalculation or misidentification that could lead to aggressive actions. Vessels operating in the Persian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz, and Gulf of Oman may also encounter GPS interference, bridge-to-bridge communications spoofing, and/or other communications jamming with little to no warning.Since May 2019, the following maritime incidents have occurred in this region:Six attacks against commercial vessels (see U.S.

26 Jul 2019

INSIGHTS: Noose Tightens Around Iranian Shipping

Grace 1 remains impounded, not because of its flag but because it was suspected of taking oil to Syria in breach of EU sanctions, an allegation that Iran denies. Image Credit: © MarineTraffic.com

Somewhere on its journey from the waters off Iran, around Africa's southern tip and into the Mediterranean, the Grace 1 oil tanker lost the flag under which it sailed and ceased to be registered to Panama. Iran later claimed it as its own.The ship carrying 2 million barrels of Iranian crude was seized by British Royal Marines off Gibraltar, raising tensions in the Gulf where Iran detained a UK-flagged ship in retaliation.Grace 1 remains impounded, not because of its flag but because it was suspected of taking oil to Syria in breach of EU sanctions…

24 Jul 2019

Suez Canal Accounts for 8% of LNG Trade

Map: Energy Information Administration

Total oil flows through the Suez Canal and the SUMED pipeline accounted for about 9% of total seaborne traded petroleum in 2017, and LNG flows through the Suez Canal and the SUMED pipeline accounted for about 8% of global LNG trade."The Suez Canal and the SUMED Pipeline are strategic routes for Persian Gulf crude oil, petroleum products, and LNG shipments to Europe and North America," U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said.Located in Egypt, the Suez Canal connects the Red Sea with the Mediterranean Sea…

19 Jul 2019

Stakeholders Ignore U.S. Middle East Coalition Proposals

USN File photo: flight operations underway on the USS Boxer, the warship credited this week with downing an Iranian drone.

The United States is struggling to win its allies' support for an initiative to heighten surveillance of vital Middle East oil shipping lanes because of fears it will increase tension with Iran, six sources familiar with the matter said.Washington proposed on July 9 stepping up efforts to safeguard strategic waters off Iran and Yemen where it blames Iran and its proxies for tanker attacks. Iran denies the charges.But with Washington's allies reluctant to commit new weaponry or fighting forces…

18 Jul 2019

US to Work "aggressively" for Free Gulf Passage

file image of US Navy assets underway (CREDIT: USN)

U.S. Central Command chief General Kenneth McKenzie said on Thursday it was talking to other countries about freedom of navigation in the Gulf and would work "aggressively" to find a solution to enable free passage.The United States has beefed up its military presence in the Middle East over a perceived Iranian threat and is asking allies to help protect strategic waters off Iran and Yemen, following attacks on oil tankers in Gulf waters in recent months."We are currently talking…

17 Jul 2019

Unarmed Guards Deployed to Navigate Gulf

File Image: AdobeStock / © Taras

Shipping companies are hiring unarmed security guards for voyages through the Middle East Gulf as an extra safeguard after a wave of attacks in the region, security companies involved said.Relations between Iran and the West are increasingly strained after Britain seized an Iranian tanker in Gibraltar this month. Britain also said last week that one of its warships had to fend off Iranian vessels seeking to block a UK-owned tanker from passing through the Strait of Hormuz.As the risk of escalation grows…

10 Jul 2019

US: Military Coalition Should Safeguard Gulf

A U.S. Navy (MSC) fleet oiler underway. (CREDIT: USN)

The United States hopes to enlist allies over the next two weeks or so in a military coalition to safeguard strategic waters off Iran and Yemen, where Washington blames Iran and Iran-aligned fighters for attacks, the top U.S. general said on Tuesday.Under the plan, which has only been finalized in recent days, the United States would provide command ships and lead surveillance efforts for the military coalition. Allies would patrol waters near those U.S. command ships and escort commercial vessels with their nation's flags.Marine General Joseph Dunford…

08 Jul 2019

Saudi-led Coalition Foils Houthi Red Sea Attack

Naval forces from the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen foiled an attempted attack on a commercial ship in the Red Sea by the Iran-aligned Houthi group, a military spokesman said on Monday.A tweet by Saudi state television quoting Colonel Turki al-Malki did not name the ship or provide other details about the incident.Reporting By Stephen Kalin

01 Jul 2019

MSCI Advisory: Regional Conflict and Piracy

Logo: MARAD

2019-007-Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea, Gulf of Oman, and Indian Ocean-Violence Due to Regional Conflict and PiracyDescription:This revised advisory cancels U.S. Maritime Advisory 2018-0151. References: (a) U.S. Maritime Alerts 2018-001A, 2018-002A, 2018-002B, 2018-005A, and 2018-007A2. Issues: Regional conflict and piracy threats continue to pose potential risks to commercial vessels operating in the above listed geographic areas.3. Conflict in Yemen continues to pose potential risk to U.S.

18 Jun 2019

Houthis to Allow U.N. to Inspect Ships in Hodeidah

Yemen's Houthi movement and the United Nations have agreed on a mechanism to inspect ships docking at Hodeidah following the group's withdrawal from three Red Sea ports under a U.N.-sponsored deal, a Houthi official and a U.N. source said.The Houthis' unilateral pullout last month from the ports of Saleef, used for grain, Ras Isa oil terminal and Hodeidah, the main entry point for commercial and aid imports, represented the only progress in implementing the deal reached last December."We agreed with the U.N. on a mechanism to inspect ships docking in the ports of Hodeidah and its implementation will start in the coming days," Houthi…

14 Jun 2019

Analysis: Strait of Hormuz and the Risk of Escalation

© Peter Hermes Furian/Adobe Stock

The Strait of Hormuz, the narrow shipping lane between Iran and Oman named after the fabulously wealthy ancient kingdom of Ormus, has fascinated oil traders since the Iranian revolution in 1979. Iran has periodically threatened to close the strait to enemy shipping, while the United States and its allies have pledged to keep it open and maintain freedom of navigation, by force if necessary.The strait has become a symbolic flashpoint in the region-wide confrontation and indirect…

14 May 2019

Oil Price Risks Rise

Image: Saudi Aramco

Supply disruptions in the Middle East on top of an already tight crude market could send oil prices violently upward, said the energy research firm Rystad Energy.Two Saudi Arabian oil tankers were reportedly attacked off the coast of the United Arab Emirates this weekend, sending crude futures up sharply May 13.Bjørnar Tonhaugen, Head of Oil Market Research at Rystad Energy, says: “In the short term, the perceived risk of supply disruptions from the area will only add to the premium of short-dated oil contracts compared to deferred contracts on the futures curve…

17 Jan 2019

Egyptian Ports Reopen After Sandstorm Clears

© Eugene Sergeev / Adobe Stock

Egypt reopened five ports on Thursday that it had shut due to bad weather as conditions improved and winds stabilized, the Red Sea Ports Authority said.Several Egyptian port cities and the capital Cairo were hit by a severe sandstorm on Wednesday, which prompted the closure of several ports.The ports of Alexandria and Dekheila on the Mediterranean in the Alexandria governorate, which had been shut since Sunday, reopened at 1330 local (1130 GMT), Reda Ghandour, a spokesman for the Alexandria Port Authority, said.He said the decision to reopen the ports was made after wind speed, wave height and

10 May 2019

U.S. Warns Merchant Ships of Iranian Threat

File Image: A U.S. Naval vessel on patrol (CREDIT: U.S. Navy)

U.S. commercial ships including oil tankers sailing through key Middle East waterways could be targeted by Iran in one of the threats to U.S. interests posed by Tehran, the U.S. Maritime Administration said in an advisory.The U.S. military said this week that a number of B-52 bombers would be part of additional forces being sent to the Middle East to counter what the Trump administration calls "clear indications" of threats from Iran to U.S. forces there. The Islamic Republic has dismissed the U.S. contention of a threat as "fake intelligence".In the advisory posted on Thursday, the U.S.

16 Jan 2019

Ocean Alliance Unveils Day 3 Product

Pic: CMA CGM

The world’s largest operational agreement between shipping companies Ocean Alliance -CMA CGM, COSCO SHIPPING, Evergreen and OOCL - has announced the launch of their Ocean Alliance Day 3 Product starting April 2019."Rodolphe Saadé, Chairman and CEO of the CMA CGM Group, signs with his partners the launch of Ocean Alliance Day 3 Product, which will start in April 2019," said a press release from the shipping group.On the occasion of this announcement, Rodolphe Saadé, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the CMA CGM Group…

17 Jan 2019

Partners Extend Ocean Alliance to 2027

(Photo courtesy CMA CGM)

Partners in the world’s largest operational agreement between shipping companies have agreed to extend their alliance until 2027.The Ocean Alliance, consisting of CMA CGM Group, COSO SHIPPING, Evergreen and OOCL, was launched in 2017 for an initial period of five years with an option for a five-year renewal.The partners confirmed they will extend to the alliance's full 10-year duration, during a signing ceremony in Hainan, China on Thursday.Rodolphe Saadé, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the CMA CGM Group…

18 Mar 2019

Fire Breaks Out Aboard USS Devastator

Mine countermeasure ship USS Devastator (MCM 6) (U.S. Navy photo by Corbin J. Shea)

A fire broke out aboard the mine countermeasures ship USS Devastator (MCM 6) while the ship was pierside at Naval Support Activity (NSA) Bahrain at approximately 8 p.m. local, March 14, the U.S. Navy said. No personnel injuries were reported.The ship declared the fire out at approximately 9 p.m. local, and Sailors continued to cool hot spots to prevent a reflash.The extent of the damage is being assessed, and the cause of the fire is under investigation.Sailors aboard Devastator…

11 Feb 2019

Bahri Refutes U.S. Charges on VLCC

A Bahri VLCC Tanker. Photo: Bahri

The National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia (Bahri) on Sunday clarified that its very large crude carrier (VLCC) tanker Abqaiq was not breaching the US sanctions on Venezuela.Earlier, the US Senator Marco Rubio accused Bahri of trying to sell diluents to the Venezuelan regime."Abqaiq is in ballast condition with no cargo onboard and on her way from the Red Sea to pick up a cargo from the Port of Jose Terminal in Venezuela for one of its regular customers in India," said a statement…

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Oct 2019 - Marine Design Annual

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