Eastern Pacific Shipping Pte. Ltd. (EPS) has announced that it is investigating an incident involving its managed product tanker, says a published on Rigzone.
The company noted that preliminary reports indicate the vessel was hit by a projectile approximately 150 miles off the coast of Oman at about 15:30 (UTC +4) on November 15. The tanker was carrying a cargo of gas oil, according to EPS, which stated that it is in communication with the vessel.
‘There is some minor damage to the vessel’s hull but no spillage of cargo or water ingress’.
“There is no reports of injuries or pollution. All crew are safe and accounted for,” EPS said in a company statement.
No spillage of cargo
“There is some minor damage to the vessel’s hull but no spillage of cargo or water ingress. Our priorities are to ensure the continuing safety of the crew and vessel. More information will be provided when it becomes available,” the company added.
In a statement sent to Rigzone, Torbjorn Soltvedt, the principal MENA analyst at risk intelligence company Verisk Maplecroft, said, “the drone attack against an oil tanker off the coast of Oman does not come as a surprise”.
Risk of attacks
“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,” Soltvedt added in the statement.
“Since 2019, Iran has consistently responded to new U.S. sanctions with covert military action in the region. Ongoing mass protests against the Iranian government also make it more likely that Tehran will seek to stoke unrest in the broader region as a diversionary tactic. The end of the ceasefire in Yemen in October is an additional risk factor, with renewed Houthi threats against Saudi Arabia and the UAE in recent weeks,” Soltvedt went on to state.
The Verisk Maplecroft analyst warned that the company’s Interstate Tensions Index shows that tensions between the U.S. and Iran are now at their highest point in more than three years.
“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,” Soltvedt said.
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