An attack on a Saudi tanker by Yemen’s Houthis will not hit oil supplies, Saudi Arabia’s energy minister said on Wednesday, after the Iran-allied group said it had targeted a warship in response to an air strike that killed civilians.
The Western-backed, Saudi-led coalition which includes other Sunni Muslim states says the Houthis attacked the oil tanker off Yemen’s main port of Hodeidah on Tuesday.
The Houthis, however, say they targeted a coalition warship in response to an air strike on Hodeidah on Monday that killed at least a dozen civilians, including seven children.
“The terrorist attack … will not affect economic activity or stall oil supplies,” Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said on Twitter.
Saudi oil industry sources told Reuters that oil operations and shipments were proceeding as normal and that security around facilities inside the kingdom had not been raised further.
“It was a minor attack. There was no impact, but the question is will it continue?” one of the sources said.
The European Union’s naval force said the oil tanker was the vessel Abqaiq. Shipping data showed it was Saudi-flagged, carrying more than 2 million barrels of crude oil and destined for Ain Sukhna in Egypt.
The tanker, whose owner Saudi shipping group Bahri did not immediately respond to a request for comment, was in international waters when it came under attack at around 1330 local time (1030 GMT), the coalition has said.