SINGAPORE/TOKYO (Reuters) – Asian shippers and refiners have put ships heading to the Middle East on alert and are expecting a possible rise in marine insurance premiums after recent attacks on Saudi oil tankers and pipeline facilities, industry sources said on Tuesday.
On Monday, armed drones attacked two of Saudi Aramco’s oil pumping stations and forced the state producer to briefly shut its East-West pipeline, known as Petroline. The attack came two days after the sabotage of four oil tankers – two of them owned by Saudi Arabia – near the United Arab Emirates.
Headache - Refiners - Middle - East - Oil
“It’s a headache for North Asian refiners who are heavily reliant on Middle East oil supplies. We are currently monitoring the situation. It’s an unfavourable factor for the overall crude oil market … driving up prices,” said a North Asian oil refining source, declining to be named due to company policy.
Asia gets nearly 70 percent of its crude oil from the Middle East, and any disruption to oil production, loading facilities or key shipping routes such as the Strait of Hormuz could have a severe impact on Asian economies. Oil tankers typically refuel at UAE’s Fujairah port, one of the world’s largest bunkering hubs, where the ship attacks occurred.
Sunday - Attack - Oil - Tankers - Oil
Following Sunday’s attack on oil tankers, oil and shipping companies said they would have to alter their routes or take precautions near Fujairah.
“We had a ship which was refueling at Fujairah when the incident occurred. Fortunately nothing happened,” said KY Lin, spokesman at Taiwan’s Formosa Petrochemical Corp.
Choices - Singapore - Lin
“There are no other (bunkering) choices nearby. We may choose to refuel at Singapore instead,” Lin said.
Japanese shipper Nippon Yusen has already decided to refrain from sending tankers to Fujairah for...
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