Posted on July 10, 2019 by Ilias Kiritsis
The BP-owned Oil Tanker, British Heritage has sought shelter in the Persian Gulf, as BP fears it might be the target of an Iranian retaliation for the seizure of Grace 1.
The oil tanker had been en route towards Iraq’s Bashrah Oil Terminal when it decided to change its course over the weekend and seek shelter off the coast of Saudi Arabia.
The British Heritage had been chartered by Royal Dutch Shell PLC to transport crude oil from Iraq into Northwest Europe. Following the re-routing of the vessel, BP was forced to cancel the booking.
According to Bloomberg, sources within BP have expressed concern over a potential seizure of the vessel by Iran.
Last Sunday the Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister said he considers the seizure of Grace 1 by Gibraltar to be an act of piracy, while the former leader of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) suggested that Iran should seize a British tanker as retaliation.
For reference, the Grace 1 was seized by British Royal Marines on June the 27th while transiting through Gibraltar, in alleged breach of EU sanctions, as it was found to be transporting crude oil from Iran to Syria.
This latest event has further escalated the already tense relations between Iran and the West, and in the process, created a lot of uncertainty for shipping companies operating in the region.
Image Courtesy of Marine Traffic