BP will pause all of its shipments through the Red Sea effective immediately due to a series of attacks on trade vessels by Houthi rebels in Yemen, the company announced Monday.
The oil giant is the latest major company to announce a pause in shipments, following in the footsteps of Maersk, which had a vessel targeted by anti-ship missiles last week. The Iran-backed Houthi rebels have sought to disrupt trade in the region in an effort to halt Israel’s war against Hamas.
“The safety and security of our people and those working on our behalf is BP’s priority,” BP said in a statement. “We will keep this precautionary pause under ongoing review, subject to circumstances as they evolve in the region.”
The U.S. Navy has sought to establish a coalition to protect trade through the Red Sea in recent weeks. USS Carney and USS Mason have already shot down multiple Houthi drones and deterred fast-attack vessels from approaching trading ships.
YEMEN’S HOUTHIS CLAIM RESPONSIBILITY FOR STRIKING NORWEGIAN TANKER STRAND IN LATEST ATTACK
A number of major global shipping companies announced Red Sea traffic pauses this weekend as well.
AMERICAN MULTIMILLIONAIRE COUPLE FUNDS MARXIST GROUP COORDINATING ANTI-ISRAEL PROTESTS
AP Møller-Mærsk, or Maersk, which operates the world’s second-largest container shipping fleet, said on Friday that it had instructed all vessels due to pass through the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait to “pause their journey until further notice.”
The Bab al-Mandab Strait is a strategically important sea lane that runs past Yemen and through which much of the world’s oil is shipped. The strait is a key conduit to the Suez Canal.
The Copenhagen-based Maersk said that recent attacks on commercial vessels in the southern Red Sea “are alarming and pose a significant threat to the safety and security of seafarers.”
Maersk was joined on Saturday by the Swiss-based MSC and the French shipping group CMA CGM, who also halted their operations.
“The situation is further deteriorating and concern for safety is increasing,” CMA CGM said in a statement.
The German container line Hapag Lloyd had said that it might do the same.
Meanwhile, Trafigura, one of the world’s largest commodities traders, said it was “taking additional precautions” for its owned and chartered vessels, according to the Financial Times.
Fox Business’ Michael Dorgan contributed to this report
Read the full article here