Oil prices jump after Iran says two missiles struck tanker

Six oil tankers and a U.S. spy drone have been attacked since May either in, or near, the Strait of Hormuz — a strategically important waterway which separates Iran, Oman and the United Arab Emirates.ATTA KENARE | AFP | Getty ImagesOil prices rose sharply on Friday morning after Iranian officials said that two rockets had struck an Iranian tanker traveling through the Red Sea.Brent crude futures were up 2.07% at $60.33 a barrel by 8:00 a.m. London time, shortly after the news, with West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures showing similar gains.The officials said that the tanker had been traveling through the Red Sea off the coast of Saudi Arabia. Saudi officials were not immediately available to respond to requests for comment, according to Reuters.The National Iranian Oil Company told NBC that the tanker was hit by two explosions at 5:00 a.m. and 5:20 a.m. local time, 60 miles from the city of Jeddah. The state-run IRNA news agency identified the vessel as the Sabity, with NBC reporting that the crew were uninjured and were working to stabilize the ship.Later on Friday morning, the news agency said that the “leak of oil has stopped and the situation is under control.”The latest incident comes amid heightened tensions in the region. Predawn attacks in Saudi Arabia on Sept. 14 hit two of its largest production facilities, forcing the country to temporarily shut down roughly 50% of its output, or more than 5% of the world’s daily crude production. The following Monday, international benchmark Brent crude rose as much as 19.5% to $71.95 per barrel at the open ⁠— the biggest jump on record ⁠— before paring gains.While Yemen’s Houthi rebels, who have been at war with the Saudis since 2015, claimed the attack, Saudi Arabia and numerous officials and analysts pointed to Tehran. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo via Twitter also blamed Iran for the attack, saying “Iran has now launched an unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply. There is no evidence the attacks came from Yemen.” Iran responded by calling the allegations “pointless.”The oil-rich kingdom has since pledged to fully restore its production capacity by the end of November.Attacks on oil tankers and U.S. drones in the Strait of Hormuz — a strategically important waterway that links regional crude producers with key markets across the world — have also added to tensions in the Middle East.—CNBC’s Natasha Turak contributed to this article.

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