Oil and Gas

Latest on suspected attacks on tankers in Gulf of Oman

(Adds Front Altair crew details)

June 13 (Reuters) - Here is the latest from Reuters on attacks on two tankers on Thursday south of the Strait of Hormuz, through which almost a fifth of the world’s oil is shipped:

* Panama-listed tanker Kokuka Courageous was damaged in a “suspected attack” that breached the hull above the water line, Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement said * The ship was attacked twice in three hours before all the crew were evacuated, the president of Japanese owner Kokuka Sangyo told reporters

* There had been an engine room fire on the tanker, which was carrying a cargo of methanol from Saudi Arabia to Singapore * A second ship, the Marshall Islands-flagged Front Altair, was “suspected of being hit by a torpedo” at around 0400 GMT, said Taiwanese refiner CPC Corp, which had chartered the vessel * The Aframax-class tanker loaded with 75,000 tonnes of naphtha was on fire, said Norwegian owner Frontline * Frontline said the Front Altair was afloat, denying a report by Iran’s IRNA news agency that it had sunk * Frontline said the crew of 23 comprised 11 Russians, 11 Filipinos and one Georgian * They were rescued by the Hyundai Dubai, transferred to an Iranian navy vessel and are destined for the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas, Frontline said * No marine pollution has been reported, Frontline said * The tanker was travelling from Ruwais, United Arab Emirates, to Taiwan, according to trade sources and Refinitiv Eikon data * All 44 sailors from the two ships have been rescued by Iranian search and rescue teams, Tehran’s Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported, citing an unnamed informed source * The Bahrain-based U.S. Navy Fifth Fleet said it was assisting after receiving distress calls * Oil prices surged by 4% on the news * Tanker owners DHT Holdings and Heidmar suspended new bookings to the Gulf, three ship brokers said

Reporting by Koustav Samanta and Jessica Jaganathan in Singapore, Liang-Sa Loh and Yimou Lee in Taipei, Victoria Klesty and Terje Solsvik in Oslo and Jonathan Saul in London; editing by Jason Neely