Royal Dutch Shell is not taking any British-flagged tankers through the Strait of Hormuz amid heightened tensions in the vital chokepoint for oil shipments.
“There are Shell-managed vessels in the Strait of Hormuz and that will probably continue to be the case. Currently, though, there are no UK-flagged vessels,” Chief Executive Ben van Beurden told reporters.
If the Anglo-Dutch oil and gas company does use a British-flagged vessel in the future, it will be accompanied by the Royal Navy as a precaution, van Beurden added, according to Reuters.
Shell’s rival BP on Tuesday said it had not taken any of its own tankers through the Strait of Hormuz, along which about a fifth of the world’s oil passes.
Tensions spiked between Iran and Britain last month when Iranian commandos seized a British-flagged tanker in the Strait of Hormuz for violating international maritime rules.
“Stena Impero” was seized for three cases of violation of maritime law when it was passing through the high-traffic Strait of Hormuz on July 19. The UK vessel had switched off its GPS locator, in contravention of international regulations, and was sailing into the Strait of Hormuz in a wrong traffic pattern.
The British tanker was entering the strait from the southern route which is an exit path, increasing the risk of an accident. Moreover, Stena Impero had not heeded any of the warnings from the Iranian Ports and Maritime Organization.