An explosion of unknown origin:
The tanker BW Rhine was hit by an outside source while unloading at Jeddah in the west of the kingdom. The fire was brought under control by the crew and there were no injuries. A probable oil leak has not yet been confirmed by the authorities. The affected vessel was first identified as a supply tanker supplying other vessels but was in fact a Panamax tanker.
The United Kingdom's Office of Commercial Marine Operations has indicated that it was aware of the explosion and encouraged vessels in the area to exercise the utmost vigilance.
This attack is not the first of its kind as a series of similar incidents targeting Saudi energy sites have been reported recently. In particular, Yemeni rebels claimed last month to have struck a missile at a factory operated by Aramco in Jeddah that pierced an oil tank and set off an explosion and fire. Another explosion then hit a Maltese-flagged oil tanker in the port of Al Shuqaiq. Saudi Arabia is thus targeted by a dozen ballistic missile and drone attacks by the Houthis in 2019 while claiming to have intercepted most of them. These attacks are due to the country's military coalition since 2015 in support of the Yemeni government against the Iranian-backed rebels. The Houthis currently control much of northern Yemen. The war in Yemen has left tens of thousands of people dead, mostly civilians, according to NGOs, and has led to the worst humanitarian crisis in the world.
A new high reached by crude oil prices:
In reaction to this news, Brent crude oil, which had crossed the $50 mark for the first time last week and for the first time since March, has once again gained points. The explosion has indeed caused the 50.50 dollars a barrel to reach around 10:10 this morning, an increase of 1.06%. It had previously reached $50.75 just after 9am.
As regards the American oil WTI, the report is the same with a barrel at 47.05 dollars, that is to say an increase of 1.03% compared to its closing of last Friday.