Iran threat: UK vessel to travel through Strait of Hormuz days after BP ship faced attack | World | News


On average, 13 UK-flagged vessels – meaning vessels whose owners have opted to register their ships in the UK, and which fly the Union Jack – visit Middle Eastern ports every month, according to data supplied by Refinitiv Oil Research. Refinitiv has been tracking British-flagged vessels which have loaded crude or fuel oil in the region since the beginning of the year, with the information supplied to physical oil traders who use it to book and move oil cargoes. Giorgos Beleris, Oil Research Manager for Refinitiv, said: “From the current vessel positions, a UK-flagged Very Large Crude Carrier tanker has departed from the port of Mina al-Ahmadi in Kuwait this morning and is expected to pass the Strait of Hormuz by 12pm Gulf Standard Time (9am BST) tomorrow.

“The tanker is carrying over two million barrels of Kuwait Blend crude oil and is likely heading towards Japan.“

The ship is owned by Mitsui OSK-lines, a Tokyo-based shipping company, whom has contacted to ask whether added security measures were in place.

Refinitiv data reveals a total of 91 vessels have lifted so-called dirty petroleum cargo year-to-date, totalling 58.76 million barrels as of July 11.

Out of a total of 3,671 tankers which have lifted black petroleum products through the Middle East so far this year, British flagged tankers represent just 2.5 percent.

June represented the peak activity for British-flagged tankers in the region with 27 vessels calling Middle Eastern ports.

The Ministry of Defence said three Iranian ships had attempted to “impede the passage” of a British oil tanker in Gulf waters on Wednesday, forcing HMS Montrose to intervene.

A Ministry of Defence statement said: “Contrary to international law, three Iranian vessels attempted to impede the passage of a commercial vessel, British Heritage, through the Strait of Hormuz.

“HMS Montrose was forced to position herself between the Iranian vessels.”

The Iranian vessels only turned away after receiving “verbal warnings” from a UK navy vessel accompanying the commercial vessel British Heritage, the UK added.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif denied the MoD’s claims, saying: “What they have said themselves and the claims that have been made are for creating tension and these claims have no value.”

However, the attempt is likely to be a response to the boarding by Royal Marines of a Iranian tanker off the coast of Gibraltar, which was believed to be transporting oil to Syria in contravention of EU sanctions.

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