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Gulf of Oman tanker attacks

General discussions of the systemic, societal and civilisational effects of depletion.

Gulf of Oman tanker attacks

Unread postby EdwinSm » Thu 13 Jun 2019, 04:04:14

By all accounts the latest attacks on tankers seems to be more serious than those of a few weeks ago, with two tankers reported to be abandoned with at least one reported to be on fire.

Instead of limpid mines, the early reports (not confirmed) talk of torpedos.

The initial result was a 3.9% rise in oil prices (all-be-it from a near low, so this might not be so significant a move).

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-48619771

Any idea of what might happen next?

In my thoughts about Peak Oil, there was a high probability that some politically driven event around the Straits of Hormuz (or a Saudi Refinery being destroyed) could usher in what might practically be Peak Oil before the time of a geology driven Peak Oil. We are not quite there, but the probability seems to have gone up with these two sets of attacks.
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Re: Gulf of Oman tanker attacks

Unread postby Newfie » Thu 13 Jun 2019, 10:10:46

Yeah, not good. But hard to say. On the surface it seems both shipments attacked had links to Japan and the Iranian PM was meeting with Abe of Japan at the time. That’s what one source reported.

It’s a real wild card that could spin in many different directions.

Interesting times.
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Re: Gulf of Oman tanker attacks

Unread postby Plantagenet » Thu 13 Jun 2019, 10:29:57

Iran said it rescued the sailors from the two tankers, but it was the US Navy who rescued them.

There have been warnings for a month that Iran was going to cause trouble......looks like trouble is here. Iran has been mounting missiles on their little strike boats in the Gulf and threatening US ships. Lets just hope this isn't part of some scheme to set up a confrontation with US Navy ships and then attack them. We don't want this to escalate into a US vs. Iran war.

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Re: Gulf of Oman tanker attacks

Unread postby evilgenius » Thu 13 Jun 2019, 10:56:54

Everything I read this morning also said it was Iran that rescued those sailors. One report said that the US Navy rescued some of them, but not all. I don't have enough information right now to properly evaluate what is going on. One thing is for certain, it is an escalation of attack method. This has not simply caused some minor damage. I don't know that either of these tankers have sunk, but it wouldn't be surprising if one or both did as time went on. I saw a picture, and there was big fire amid ships. The previous pictures I saw of the mine attacks were all pictures of bent metal on those ship's stems or sterns. I think I mostly saw damage to sterns.

It seems like there are a few possibilities. The US could be trying to go to war, but needs to provide plausible justification. The Iranians may want to lure the US into a situation where they can sink important US vessels. They could be after a carrier. Also, though, a third party could be interested in a war which would provide some advantage to them. There are multiple suspects who might benefit from that. Also, both the previous attack and this one suggest a swarm of attackers, or a single attacker with the capability to attack more than one target in quick succession. I don't suppose that mines are floating about in large groups such that both of these attacks would have happened as multi-target attacks over short periods of time. Making certain the attacks were successful seems important.

I wonder what Trump will do? He's not famous for being careful with his rhetoric, in case he is wrong about who he blames. Bush did that with Iraq, however, and got away with it. The Iranians have already jumped in to say they had nothing to do with it, but they would if it were them behind it, I suppose.
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Re: Gulf of Oman tanker attacks

Unread postby Plantagenet » Thu 13 Jun 2019, 12:01:57

evilgenius wrote:I wonder what Trump will do? He's not famous for being careful with his rhetoric


Hahahahah! You are a master of understatement.

evilgenius wrote:The Iranians have already jumped in to say they had nothing to do with it, but they would if it were them behind it, I suppose.


The Saudis are blaming the Houthis...the Iranian-backed group in South Yemen. But the weapons used in the attack...reportedly a torpedo and a magnetic mine......aren't exactly the kinds of things a rag tag militia group in South Yemen would have lying about in their tents.

The torpedo implies an active attack by some kind of a torpedo boat or submarine. And a magnetic mine?....wait a minute...was there just one little magnetic mine out there all alone or HAS SOMEBODY PUT MINES IN THE STRAIGHT OF HORMUZ???????

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Re: Gulf of Oman tanker attacks

Unread postby Yoshua » Thu 13 Jun 2019, 12:28:09

One thing seems to be clear: the U.S cannot guarantee safety in the region.

The Houthis armed by Iran and China are attacking Saudi oil infrastructure with drones. The U S has imposed sanctions on Iran and is in a trade war with China.

Russia has joined the war in the region. The U.S has imposed sanctions on Russia as well.

There seems to be very little the U.S can do to stop terrorist acts against tankers. One of the ship owners that was attacked has now declared that they won't return to the region.
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Re: Gulf of Oman tanker attacks

Unread postby Cog » Thu 13 Jun 2019, 21:48:31

Well the US Navy can put every Iranian naval asset on the bottom of the Persian Gulf, so I'd say that would be something.
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Re: Gulf of Oman tanker attacks

Unread postby careinke » Fri 14 Jun 2019, 02:58:07

Cog wrote:Well the US Navy can put every Iranian naval asset on the bottom of the Persian Gulf, so I'd say that would be something.


True, and I got to believe the Iranians also know this. So why would they do this, especially when they were simultaneously holding diplomatic talks with Japan?

Something doesn't smell right....
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Re: Gulf of Oman tanker attacks

Unread postby EdwinSm » Fri 14 Jun 2019, 03:40:08

I heard that one of the crews was partially Russian. It makes little sense for Iran to attack Russian interests.

One shipment was due to one of the two "Republics of China", so maybe the other one was behind it. :roll:

Maybe this is a conspiracy by the tanker owners to reduce surplus shipping stock :twisted:

I am not sure what to think of this :oops: But the oil markets came down before the end of trading (only 2% up, instead of the spike of 4% after the news broke), so the traders seem to be taking a calm approach to the future of oil supplies from the region.
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Re: Gulf of Oman tanker attacks

Unread postby EdwinSm » Fri 14 Jun 2019, 04:26:19

Gulf of Oman tanker attacks: US says video shows Iran removing mine: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-48633016

I personally could not tell from the video what was happening (then I am not a military analyst). What I find interesting is the later picture showing the damaged area and where the mine was supposed to have been placed and both are well above the water line and would have been visible to other ships. I wonder about the placement, it seems like it is to make a statement (ie damage) rather than sink the ships.

It said the USS Bainbridge observed Iranian naval boats operating in the area in the hours after the explosions, and later removing the unexploded mine from the side of the Kokuka Courageous.


It would be telling if boats were in the area before the explosion. It seems reasonable for the boats to be there after the explosion.
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Re: Gulf of Oman tanker attacks

Unread postby Cog » Fri 14 Jun 2019, 05:39:39

If the Iranians didn't plant the mines to begin with, why would they be removing an unexploded mine from a ship they have no connection with?
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Re: Gulf of Oman tanker attacks

Unread postby Newfie » Fri 14 Jun 2019, 06:35:45

“Mines” do not have to float, they can be any attached explosive device.

We have not heard from the tanker crews. One would think they have some idea of what happened, especially after the previous attacks I would expect the crews to be very diligent in transiting those waters.

I don’t believe I’ve seen any description of the previous attacks by the crew of those 4 vessels either.

The comment about the mines being attached above the water line is a good observation. Wound but not destroy.

Personally my bets are that Iran is behind this. That they deny it is almost meaningless.

I doubt Trump is much of a war monger, he threatens and blusters but it’s hard to deal while shelling one another. My suspicion is Iran is trying to influence USA public opinion against Trump. Think of it as an Iranian imposed sanction.

Ponderings.
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Re: Gulf of Oman tanker attacks

Unread postby Cog » Fri 14 Jun 2019, 09:30:38

It's possible Iran is trying to send a message, short of war, not to cooperate with US oil sanctions on Iran. An appropriate message back to the Iranians is to make a couple of their navy ships to go blub blub.
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Re: Gulf of Oman tanker attacks

Unread postby EdwinSm » Fri 14 Jun 2019, 09:34:33

Not directly from the crew

Yutaka Katada, the president of Japanese company Kokuka Sangyo which owns the vessel, said it was hit twice before the crew abandoned ship.

After the US military alleged that Iranian limpet mines were responsible, Mr Katada on Monday said sailors saw "flying objects" before the attack, according to the Associated Press - apparently contradicting the US narrative.

He had also earlier spoken of being hit by a "shell", rather than a mine.

"We have had an initial report that our ship... was hit by a shell. After that, our crew saw that other ships came
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-48627014

The initial report of torpedo, has now become a "shell". Again the damage seems to have been on the starboard side, and as both ships were sailing on a SE course, that would be the side away from Iran. A port-side hit would be easier to blame on Iran. So now are we looking for a small boat with some small rocket launcher, which doesn't really help determine guilt (nor does it rule out Iran either).
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Re: Gulf of Oman tanker attacks

Unread postby Plantagenet » Fri 14 Jun 2019, 09:53:44

We've had four attacks now over the last month....Iran is clearly trying to impact oil exports.

So What is Iran's motive for attacking these oil tankers?

The US has put sanctions on Iran's oil exports for about a year now and their economy is in big trouble. The sanctions during the Obama administration were phony because Obama granted "exemptions to India, China, and Japan to continue to import Iranian oil so there really weren't sanctions on Iran at all back then.

But now there are real sanctions on Iran. For about a year Iran has't been able to export much oil.

Its not hard to imagine Iran responding to US sanctions on their oil exports by taking steps that will restrict all oil exports through the Straits of Hormuz.

Image

Nothing big. Nothing that will start a war. But a drone attack one week, then a mine attack the next. Just a series of little attacks that over time will tend to restrict oil coming out of the straights of Hormuz.
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Re: Gulf of Oman tanker attacks

Unread postby EnergyUnlimited » Fri 14 Jun 2019, 11:08:00

Looks like United States are engineering next "casus belli".
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Re: Gulf of Oman tanker attacks

Unread postby Yoshua » Fri 14 Jun 2019, 11:31:13

The U.S started the war against Iran a year ago when Trump imposed sanctions on Iran. And it doesn't matter if Iran was behind the attacks...the U.S has declared that it was Iran...and that is all that matters.
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Re: Gulf of Oman tanker attacks

Unread postby Plantagenet » Fri 14 Jun 2019, 13:37:35

Yoshua wrote:The U.S started the war against Iran a year ago when Trump imposed sanctions on Iran.


Sanctions aren't the same thing as a war. In a war, people are trying to kill each other and destroy each other's infrastructure. Sanctions merely involve trying to restrict trade and economic activity. They are quite different.

Yoshua wrote:..... it doesn't matter if Iran was behind the attacks...the U.S has declared that it was Iran...and that is all that matters.


Of course it matters that Iran was behind the attacks. The facts always matter.

The US now faces a difficult problem....how to respond to Iran's pinprick attacks on oil tankers. If Iran had launched full out military assaults on shipping through the Hormuz Straight I think the US would've already responded militarily. But deciding how to respond to a series of small surreptitious attacks over several weeks is a more difficult problem.

If the US launches a military attack on Iran it looks like over-reacting and may start a full scale war. But if the US does nothing, Iran can slow the movement of oil out of the Gulf just by scaring off the oil tankers. The ship owners aren't going to send their oil tanker ships into the Gulf if there is a chance they'll be bombed.

Image
Iran is continuing its terror attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman......so far there have been four attacks

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Re: Gulf of Oman tanker attacks

Unread postby Yoshua » Fri 14 Jun 2019, 14:12:49

Sanctions are economic warfare. Iran seems to be responding to economic warfare trough terror attacks, which has led to rising insurance costs for tankers loading in the Gulf.

https://www.spglobal.com/platts/en/mark ... ce-soaring
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Re: Gulf of Oman tanker attacks

Unread postby Cog » Fri 14 Jun 2019, 14:23:37

Other countries in the world are free to ignore US sanctions on Iran, if they wish not to trade with the USA. Its simply business, nothing personal. Iran is owed some serious payback for supplying IED's to Shia militia during the Iraq war. Devices that have killed or wounded hundreds of US servicemen. Not to mention that Iran continues to supply Hezbollah, a known terrorist organization.

If Iran wants to join the other civilized countries in the world, and renounce their nuclear ambitions and their support of terrorism, they are free to do so. The left should not be expecting for Trump to deliver pallets of cash to the Iranians to buy them off like the former president did.
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