Saudi Arabia to resume oil shipments through Red Sea lane

Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih says necessary procedures have been taken by coalition’s leadership to protect ships.

Saudi Arabia oil tanker
Houthi rebels in Yemen targeted two crude-carrying vessels on July 26 [File: Reuters]

Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter, will resume all oil shipments through a strategic Red Sea shipping lane that was recently the target of missile attacks, the state news agency SPA reported.

Saudi officials temporarily suspended oil shipments through the Bab al-Mandeb Strait on July 26 after attacks on two crude-carrying vessels by Houthi rebels in Yemen, causing minimal damage to one of them.

“The decision to resume shipping of oil through Bab al-Mandeb comes after all necessary procedures were taken by the coalition leadership to protect ships of the coalition countries,” Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said on Saturday.

The Saudi and Emirati-led coalition, which has been at war with the Houthi rebels since March 2015, took the “necessary measures” to ensure the security of the shipments, he said without elaborating.

The Bab al-Mandeb Strait, where the Red Sea meets the Gulf of Aden in the Arabian Sea, is only 20km wide, making hundreds of ships potentially an easy target.

Yemen lies beside the southern mouth of the Red Sea, one of the most important trade routes in the world for oil tankers.

The vessels pass near Yemen’s shores while heading from the Middle East through the Suez Canal to Europe.

Source: News Agencies