(Bloomberg) -- A National Iranian Oil Company tanker caught fire after an explosion in the Red Sea near the Saudi Arabian port of Jeddah, the Islamic Republic News Agency reported, citing the company’s press office.
Oil prices extended gains after the report, which comes amid heightened tensions in the Middle East following drone strikes on a key Saudi Arabian oil facility last month. The explosion is likely an act of terrorism, according to the Islamic Student’s News Agency, an arm of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which cited unnamed experts. The Saudi government’s Center for International Communication did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The explosions occurred between 5-5:20 a.m. local time and were likely caused by rockets, IRNA reported. Two of its main oil tanks were damaged, and petroleum was spilling into the sea.
Brent crude rose more than 60 cents a barrel following the news, extending intraday gains to as high as 2%. West Texas Intermediate oil futures also rose, adding as much as 1.9% on the day.
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