Explosion at Saudi port of Jeddah hits at least one tanker

A photo from Nov 24, 2020, shows a damaged silo a day after an attack at the Saudi Aramco oil facility in Jeddah. PHOTO: AFP

JEDDAH (BLOOMBERG) - At least one ship was hit by an explosion at the Saudi Arabian port of Jeddah, according to separate reports from tanker company Hafnia and United Kingdom Marine Trade Operations.

Oil-product tanker BW Rhine was hit by an external source while discharging at Jeddah at about 12.40am local time on Monday (Dec 14), according to a statement posted on the website of Hafnia, a unit of shipowner BW Group. The Singapore-flagged vessel immediately ceased all discharge operations and the fire was extinguished without any injuries, it said.

The UKMTO, which is linked to the British navy, said a ship had been hit but didn't name it. It advised vessels in that part of the Red Sea to "exercise extreme caution."

Spokespeople for the Saudi Ports Authority and the kingdom's energy ministry didn't immediately respond to messages requesting comment.

TankerTrackers.com, meanwhile, said in a tweet that a ship called Al Amal Al Saudi that was carrying bunker fuel had been hit. There was "no real impact on crude oil exports," it said in the tweet.

The incident comes less than three weeks after an oil tanker was damaged in a possible attack at the Saudi terminal of Shuqaiq, south of Jeddah.

Yemen's Houthi rebels have previously used sea mines to attack ships in Saudi Arabian waters. The Houthis, who are supported by Iran, have been fighting Yemen's United Nations-backed government since 2014. A Saudi-led coalition intervened a year later on the side of the government.

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