SEVERE WX : Air Quality Alert - Fire Weather Watch - Red Flag Warning View Alerts

Oil prices surge after tankers attacked near the Iranian coast

Crude oil futures surged more than 4% on Thursday after two tankers were attacked in the Gulf of Oman, a key waterway used to transport energy supplies from...

Posted: Jun 13, 2019 3:48 AM
Updated: Jun 14, 2019 4:30 AM

Crude oil futures surged more than 4% on Thursday after two tankers were attacked in the Gulf of Oman, a key waterway used to transport energy supplies from the Middle East.

The Japanese owner of the Kokuka Courageous told CNN the 27,000-ton tanker had been attacked 'by some sort of shell' off Fujairah, a port in the United Arab Emirates. The ship suffered damage to its starboard hull.

The ship's operator, Singapore-based BSM Ship Management, said in a statement that the Kokuka Courageous was about 14 nautical miles from the coast of Iran.

A second tanker, the Front Altair, was also attacked while sailing between the UAE and Iran, the Norwegian Maritime Agency said in a statement.

'There were reportedly three detonations on board the ship,' the agency said.

United Kingdom Marine Trade Operations, which monitors security in the region, said that it was aware of an incident, and that Britain and its partners were investigating.

An advisory from the agency indicated the incident had occurred near the Strait of Hormuz, a strategic choke point through which roughly 30% of the world's sea-borne crude oil passes.

The Strait of Hormuz links the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf, separating Oman from its eastern neighbor, Iran. Deep enough to handle the biggest tankers, the strait is only 21 miles wide at its narrowest point.

The US Energy Information Administration describes it as the 'world's most important choke point,' with roughly 80% of the crude it handles destined for markets in Asia.

Second incident in two months

The attacks come amid rising tensions in the region, where the United States and its Arab allies including Saudi Arabia are increasingly at loggerheads with Iran.

In May, four ships were targeted near Fujairah in what the United Arab Emirates described as a 'sabotage attack.'

The initial findings of an international investigation into the attacks concluded that a 'state actor' was the most likely culprit. Iran has denounced the attack and denied involvement.

Oil swings

US crude futures had been trading near their lowest levels in five months. But they rebounded as traders reacted to reports of the attacks, gaining 4.1% to trade at $53.24 a barrel by 8:20 a.m. ET.

The price for Brent crude, the global benchmark, surged 4.4% to $62.59 a barrel.

Crude oil prices have drifted lower in recent months as a huge surge in American production more than offset the effect of US sanctions on oil producers Venezuela and Iran, and OPEC supply curbs. Slowing global economic growth in the face of trade disputes has also weighed on prices.

In a report published Thursday, the cartel downgraded its forecast for crude oil demand in 2019 because of sluggish demand. It also said that production by member nations fell to 29.9 million barrels per day in May.

Khalid al-Falih, Saudi Arabia's energy minister, said last week that OPEC and Russia are close to a deal to extend production cuts they implemented at the start of the year. Those cuts are due to expire at the end of June.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 214869

Reported Deaths: 2836
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah41288617
Washington27471257
Marion24180329
Clackamas19603240
Lane14464171
Jackson12195151
Deschutes1035787
Umatilla918292
Linn607281
Yamhill496981
Klamath490279
Douglas423587
Polk421556
Josephine395874
Malheur365067
Benton338722
Jefferson245642
Coos226839
Columbia204732
Union159024
Lincoln151122
Wasco149831
Crook136824
Hood River124634
Morrow120317
Clatsop111810
Baker105717
Curry75512
Tillamook7285
Grant5577
Lake4848
Harney45111
Wallowa2086
Gilliam841
Sherman772
Wheeler351
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3894556

Reported Deaths: 64228
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles127625424623
San Bernardino3040755236
Riverside3040604657
San Diego2906253793
Orange2787205141
Santa Clara1217672099
Sacramento1128961770
Kern1123181417
Fresno1036371736
Alameda939531272
Ventura829751041
San Joaquin760341446
Contra Costa74030830
Stanislaus650191085
Tulare50104854
Monterey44273524
San Mateo43880588
San Francisco38954561
Solano35193259
Santa Barbara35189465
Merced32814484
Sonoma31965328
Imperial28996745
Placer24530304
Kings23366248
San Luis Obispo21717264
Madera16885249
Santa Cruz16452207
Marin14589238
Yolo14574214
Butte12982203
Shasta12804242
El Dorado10774120
Napa1025281
Sutter9965115
Yuba681651
San Benito622963
Lassen586826
Tehama581566
Nevada518375
Humboldt489753
Mendocino457150
Tuolumne433473
Lake396364
Amador381648
Siskiyou252740
Glenn245727
Colusa233918
Calaveras227958
Del Norte15518
Inyo145338
Mono13125
Plumas7626
Modoc5737
Mariposa4857
Trinity4486
Sierra1240
Alpine890
Unassigned440
Medford
Clear
85° wxIcon
Hi: 100° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 82°
Brookings
Clear
65° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 65°
Crater Lake
Clear
89° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 85°
Grants Pass
Partly Cloudy
89° wxIcon
Hi: 98° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 85°
Klamath Falls
Clear
82° wxIcon
Hi: 94° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 80°
Hot and smoky weekend
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events