Oil spill from Iranian Suezmax tanker under control after explosion: NITC
Oil leakage from Suezmax tanker, the Sabity, is coming to an end and the situation is under control, its owner National Iranian Tanker Company said in a statement Friday, and denied reports of fire in the vessel.
The oil leakage has stopped and “reached the least,” state news agency IRNA quoted reports received from NITC.
Shipping industry sources earlier told S&P Global Platts the Sabity was on fire after being hit by “a foreign object” near Jeddah and was spilling oil.
“Again, it is necessary to emphasize that there was no fire in the vessel. All the crew is safe and healthy. The general situation of the ship is under control too,” the report said.
“In two separate explosions, probably by missile hits, at 05:00 and 05:20 [local time], 60 miles from Saudi Arabian Jeddah port, the oil tanker’s body exploded,” NITC said in a statement. The incident damaged two main tanks of the vessel, NITC said.
“The oil tanker has not resumed its course yet…we will shift the oil tanker course to exit the Red Sea,” said NITC’s managing director Nasrollah Sardashti, who was quoted by IRNA as saying.
Iran’s state television said the explosion was “probably a terrorist attack.”
“The ship laden with a million barrels of crude was hit by an object which could be a missile or a mine and this has resulted in a explosion that is causing an oil spill,” a source with direct knowledge of the matter told Platts earlier.
The explosion and oil spill comes close on the heels of another separate attack on Saudi oil installations on September 14 that has dragged down the country’s production and exports.
Oil tankers were also attacked in the Persian Gulf in June and such incidents have already pushed up the freight rates and triggered additional war risk premia, which in turn increased the delivered costs of crude and refined oil products.