Oil prices rise 2% after suspected tanker attack near Iran

HOUSTON (Reuters) – Oil prices rose about 2% on Thursday following a suspected attack on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman near Iran and the Strait of Hormuz, a key passage for seaborne oil cargoes. The attacks stoked fears such disruptions could impact oil flows from the Middle East, particularly if insurance companies begin to reduce coverage for voyages through the Strait of Hormuz and additional shipping companies suspend new bookings in the region, analysts said. “The impact of tanker owners not chartering their vessels and insurance companies potentially refusing to provide coverage could further exacerbate the supply problem,” said Andy Lipow, an analyst at Lipow Oil Associates in Houston. Oil tanker owners DHT Holdings and Heidmar suspended new bookings to the Mid-East Gulf, three ship brokers said. “This is the second attack in a month’s time,” said John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital LLC in New York. “It raises the ante for insurance risk.” Tensions in the Middle East have escalated since U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from a 2015 multinational nuclear pact with Iran and reimposed sanctions, notably targeting Tehran’s oil exports. Iran, which has distanced itself from the previous attacks, has said it would not… continue reading

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