Saudi Arabia said on Monday that two of its oil tankers were among those attacked off the coast of the United Arab Emirates, Reuters reports, with a total of four vessels being impacted by an attack.
The UAE said on Sunday that four commercial vessels were “sabotaged” just outside the Strait of Hormuz. It did not describe the nature of the attack or say who was behind it, according to Reuters.
According to Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih, one of the two Saudi vessels was on its way to be loaded with Saudi crude oil from the port of Ras Tanura, to be delivered to customers in the United States, when it was attacked at 6am on Sunday.
“Fortunately, the attack didn’t lead to any casualties or oil spill; however, it caused significant damage to the structures of the two vessels,” Al-Falih said.
The Strait of Hormuz is considered by the U.S. Energy Information Agency as “the world’s most important oil transit chokepoint.” One-fifth of global oil consumption passes through the Strait of Hormuz.
News of the attack sent oil prices upward. According to CNN, Brent crude futures gained about 1.9% on Monday to trade at $71.75 a barrel. US crude oil futures gained about 1.6% to $62.48.