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Oil Prices Jump After Iranian Oil Tanker Explosions

Oil prices jumped by more than 2 percent on Friday after an Iranian oil tanker in the Red Sea was  hit by two suspected rockets  off the coast of Saudi Arabia, raising the possibility of supply disruptions from a crucial producing region.

Iranian Press TV reported that the oil tanker Sinopa, owned by the National Iranian Oil Co, was struck off the coast of the Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah.

The ship suffered heavy damage and was leaking oil into the water, The Leaking oil had been stopped but it restarted once the vessel began moving again.

International benchmark Brent crude futures rose as much as 2.3 percent to $60.46 a barrel and were at $60.13 per barrel, up $1.02, by 06:48 GMT.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose as much as 2.1 percent to $54.69 a barrel and were at $54.47 per barrel, up 92 cents.

“Experts believe it was a terrorist attack,” Iran’s Students News Agency (ISNA) reported. It did not say whom Iranian officials suspect of launching the missiles.

“Those behind the attack are responsible for the consequences of this dangerous adventure, including the dangerous environmental pollution caused,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi told state TV.

There was no immediate acknowledgement from Saudi Arabia about the blasts. Russia’s foreign ministry said it was too early to assign blame for the explosions.

According to the website Tankertrackers, the vessel was the largest-sized tanker, was fully loaded with one million barrels of oil, and “it does the Syria route”, said Basravi.

“This is the third time in the past six months that an Iranian tanker has been incapacitated in these waters,” he noted.

Tensions in the  Middle East have escalated in the wake of attacks on tankers and US drones in the Strait of Hormuz, a key shipping artery of the global oil trade.

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