Oil prices rise after drone attack on tanker owned by Israeli billionaire


London, Nov 16

Oil prices have risen after a tanker owned by an Israeli billionaire was hit by a drone carrying a bomb off the coast of Oman, media reports said on Wednesday.

The attack on Pacific Zircon, which is owned by Idan Ofer and operated by the Singapore-based Eastern Pacific Shipping, sent Brent crude prices up 65 cents to $94, The Guardian reported. The Liberian-flagged tanker had departed from Sohar on Monday afternoon and was destined for Buenos Aires.

The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations, a military organisation that monitors shipping in the region, also said it was aware of an incident that was "being investigated".

Ofer is the owner of the conglomerate that owns Quantum Pacific Shipping and he also has interests in the energy, sports and mining industries, The Guardian reported.

He is one of two sons of the shipping magnate Sammy Ofer, who died in 2011 and was once Israel's richest person. Idan Ofer is worth nearly $10bn, according to Forbes.

The incident pushed oil prices higher but the gains were capped by concerns over rising Covid-19 cases in China. Investors are worried that the country's strict lockdown could dent demand for oil as travel is restricted.

The price of crude had risen on Tuesday after oil supply to parts of Europe was temporarily suspended through a section of the Druzhba pipeline, according to pipeline operators in Slovakia and Hungary.

An explosion in eastern Poland near the Ukraine border that killed two people also caused concern over an escalation in the Russia-Ukraine war, The Guardian reported.


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