Oil prices surged more than two percent Friday after reports of an Iranian tanker exploding 60 miles from Saudi Arabia’s port city of Jeddah, sparking fresh supply concerns with tensions already high after last month’s attacks on two Saudi crude facilities.
The news sent Brent surging 2.3 percent to $60.46, while West Texas Intermediate jumped 2.1 percent to $54.69. Prices had already been rising on growing hopes for a breakthrough in the China-US trade talks.
Unnamed sources had reportedly told ISNA that the explosion caused heavy damages and oil is spilling in the Red Sea. However, footage from Iranian Press TV showed that the tanker was not damaged.
The ship tracking website TankerTrackers.com.inc shared images published on Twitter which appeared to show the “Sabiti” with little damage.
Iranian media had previously said that the explosions were the result of missiles. A spokesman for the company initially suggested that the missiles may have come from the direction of Saudi Arabia. However, the company later withdrew that claim in a formal statement.
The company also denied the Iranian foreign ministry’s statement that the alleged missiles had come from Saudi Arabia.
The oil company denied reports of the missiles and said that the situation was under control, and that there were no casualties caused by the incident.