A file photo of the the U.K. oil tanker Stena Impero i
Source: Stena Bulk
Iran’s Revolutionary Guard says it seized a British tanker in the Strait of Hormuz, claiming it failed to follow international marine regulations.
The IRGC took the British tanker, Stena Impero, to a coastal area and turned it over to maritime authorities, according to Iran State TV.
Britain said it was urgently seeking further information after reports that a British-flagged tanker had taken a turn into Iranian waters.
“We are urgently seeking further information and assessing the situation following reports of an incident in the Gulf,” a spokesman for the Ministry of Defence said on Friday.
The move by Iran follows the seizure of an Iranian tanker earlier this month by the British Royal Marines on suspicion it was breaking European sanctions and taking oil to Syria. Iran has called for the release of that ship, and earlier Friday, a British court in Gibraltar extended the detention of the Iranian oil tanker.
Oil prices moved higher, with West Texas Intermediate up about 1% at $55.98 per barrel just before the close.
“This is a big escalation ahead of the weekend, and the risk premium that had come out of the market over the past week is going to come rushing back in,” said John Kilduff, partner with Again Capital.
The ship operators, Stena Bulk and Northern Marine Management said it cannot currently contact the ship.
2019-07-19 – 19.55
Stena Bulk and Northern Marine Management can confirm that at approximately 1600 BST on 19th July UK registered vessel Stena Impero (built 2018, 49,683 DWT) was approached by unidentified small crafts and a helicopter during transit of the Strait of Hormuz while the vessel was in international waters. We are presently unable to contact the vessel which is now heading north towards Iran.
There are 23 seafarers aboard. There have been no reported injuries and their safety is of primary concern to both owners and managers. The priority of both vessel owner Stena Bulk and ship manager Northern Marine Management is the safety and welfare of the crew.
Northern Marine Management has not been able to establish contact directly with the vessel since it was notified of the incident at approximately 1600 Today, 19th July 2019.
We are in close contact with UK government authorities.
This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.