Saudi Aramco announced on 25th July that it has temporarily halted all oil shipments through the Bab El-Mandeb Strait with immediate effect, following an attack on two Bahri VLCCs in the Red Sea. The decision was taken in the interest of ships and crews, and to avoid the risk of an oil spill.
The tankers were attacked by Houthi militias. One of the ships sustained minimal damage, although injuries nor oil spills were reported. The company says it is carefully assessing the situation and “will take further action as prudence demands.” Other regional tanker operators, including KOTC, are reported to be reviewing their Red Sea shipping strategies in light of the recent incident.