News 13 june — 12:03

Oil prices went up after attack on oil tankers in Oman gulf

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A suspected attack on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman sent oil prices higher early Thursday, as tensions remain high between the U.S. and Iran following an attack on four vessels in the region last month, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Iranian media, citing unspecified foreign sources, reported two large tankers had been attacked in the Gulf of Oman and requested help.

The U.K. Maritime Trade Operations, which is run by the British Navy and provides information to the civilian maritime community, warned of an unspecified incident in the Gulf of Oman and said it was investigating the incident. It didn’t offer further details.

A spokesman for U.S. Navy’s Bahrain-based 5th Fleet said it didn’t have any information on the incident at this time. A spokeswoman for the United Arab Emirates foreign ministry said it was aware of news reports and looking into the incident.

Brent crude was up 3% at $61.77 a barrel after reports of the news.

The U.S. has accused Iran of attacking four ships in the Gulf of Oman last month, an incident that heightened tensions in the region as the White House has displayed a show of military force to deter Tehran. Iran has denied involvement.

Four explosions on May 12 blew holes in the hulls of two tankers from Saudi Arabia, one from Norway, and an Emirati ship near the port of Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates. The area is a major transit point for oil vessels moving through the Strait of Hormuz.

Despite the U.S. accusations, Emirati officials have stopped short of directly accusing Iran. In a closed-door briefing to members of the United Nations Security Council, the U.A.E. said earlier this month that special forces from a hostile nation likely carried out coordinated attacks.

The U.S. Navy’s Bahrain-based 5th Fleet didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the incident Thursday. A spokeswoman for the U.A.E. foreign ministry said it was aware of news reports and looking into the incident.

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