Saudi Arabia suspended all oil shipments through the Bab EL-Mandeb after two vessels carrying crude oil were attacked by Houthi rebels on Wednesday in Red sea.
A statement from Saudi Aramco said, “ Two very large crude carriers, each with a two million barrels capacity were attacked by terrorist Houthi militia this morning in the Red Sea.”
Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said on Thursday the kingdom would halt all shipments through the straight immediately. He said, “The suspension will last until the situation becomes clearer and the maritime transit through Bab El-Mandeb is safe.”
Saudi –UAE led coalition fighting the Houthi rebels in war torn Yemen said in a statement that, “The Saudi oil tanker was subject to slight damage due to attack by Houthi militia. Thankfully the attack failed due to immediate intervention of coalition’s fleet.”
Earlier the Houthi rebels targeted a warship named the Dammam off the western coast of Yemen. The rebels later said they launched a missile attack on the vessel.
The attacks and suspension of oil transport could bring other countries in Yemen’s devastating war. Energy consultant Ellen R Wald wrote in Forbes, “The Red Sea is a very important shipping lane. If there is major disruption, European powers, Egypt and United States would all have reason to intervene”.
Any disruption in supply of oil due to attacks and the temporary suspension of oil transport will cause the crude prices to go up and will affect the global economy.