In an alert released earlier today, maritime officials in the UK urged “extreme caution” and said they were investigating after a distress signal was sent. UK Maritime Trade Operations said on its website: “UK and its partners are currently investigating.” An official at the port of Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates has told Bloomberg at least one tanker, Front Altair, is on fire. Reports suggest the tanker was ablaze after loading oil in Abu Dhabi, with a distress signal supposedly being sent back to the UAE.
Meanwhile, Iranian media claimed claimed explosions were heard after two oil tankers were targeted in the area, but offered no evidence.
The other oil tanker believed to have been hit in the incident has been named in reports as Kokuka Courageous.
At least two tankers have been evacuated following the incident, according to Reuters.
The cause of the fire remains unknown.
The price of brent crude futures rose following reports, and were up 4.10 percent to $62.43 a barrel at 7.50am BST.
Neil Wilson, chief analyst at Markets.com, said: “Oil has shot up sharply after slumping to five-month lows overnight.
“Reports of an oil tanker being on fire in the Sea of Oman rattled markets and sent Brent up $2 in a matter of minute.
“Wait to see whether this will hold or is an algo-based kneejerk that will be faded.”
BP and Shell shares posted some mild growth following the incident.
BP was up 0.7 percent at the time of writing, while Shell increased by 0.5 percent
The US Navy’s Fifth Fleet in Bahrain told the Associated Press it was “aware” of the incident.
It comes after four oil tankers were targeted off the coast in Fujairah in mid-May, with the US accusing Iran of sabotaging the vessels in an attempt to raise oil prices.
Published at Thu, 13 Jun 2019 07:00:00 +0000