The temporary closure of the Bab al-Mandeb strait has a limited impact on Kuwaiti oil shipments as only 10% pass through the strategic shipping lane, Reuters cited Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) on July 26.
Sheikh Talal al-Ahmad al-Sabah, chief executive of the state-owned Kuwait Oil Tanker Company, stated that 90% of Kuwaiti oil shipments are routed to Asia and do not pass through Bab al-Mandeb on the Red Sea. The 10% of shipments that use the shipping lane are mainly comprised of refined oil products, he added.
Saudi Arabia placed a temporarily halt all oil shipments through the Red Sea due to an attack on two oil tankers by Yemen’s Houthi movement, Reuters reported.
Two very large crude carriers (VLCCs), each with a capacity of two million barrels, were attacked on the morning of July 25, according to the Saudi Press Agency.
Bab al-Mandeb is the main transit route for exports from the Gulf going through the Suez Canal. In 2016, an estimated 4.8 million barrels per day passed through the Bab al-Mandeb strait heading towards Europe, Asia and the United States, according to the US Energy Information Administration.