Saudi Arabia will suspend all shipments of crude oil passing through the Straits of Mandab until navigation becomes safe, Saudi Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Khalid al-Falih said on Thursday.
Falih said that according to the official spokesman of the Alliance for the Support of Legitimacy in Yemen, two giant oil tankers belonging to the Saudi National Shipping Company, each carrying two million barrels of crude oil, was attacked by the Houthi militia in the Red Sea on Wednesday morning after crossing the Straits of Bab El-Mandeb.
The attack resulted in minor damage to one of the two carriers. There were no casualties or spillage of crude oil into the sea which would have led to an environmental disaster.
Falih said that the Kingdom would temporarily and with immediate effect suspend all shipments of crude oil passing through the Bab El-Mandeb until navigation through the Strait is safe, stressing that the threats of the Houthi militias against the crude oil carriers affect the freedom of international trade and maritime navigation in the Strait of Bab El-Mandeb and the Red Sea.
Saudi Aramco said that, according to the Minister of Energy, "for the safety of tankers and crews, and to avoid accidents of crude oil spill, Aramco suspended the shipment of all crude oil shipments through the Bab El-Mandeb Strait until navigation through the Strait is safe."
Saudi Aramco is the world’s leading integrated company in the field of energy and chemicals. The company produces one in eight barrels of oil supplies worldwide while continuing to develop new energy technologies.
"Saudi Aramco sets its sights on the reliability and sustainability of its resources, helping to promote long-term stability and growth throughout the world,” the statement said.
The Bab-el-Mandeb is a strait located between Yemen on the Arabian Peninsula, and Djibouti and Eritrea in the Horn of Africa. It connects the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden.