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Strategic beauty of attack on Iranian tanker

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Strategically it was a very good timing, place and the way the attack on Iranian tanker was conducted.

Place:

Near Jeddah, the largest city on Saudi Arabia coast, gate to Saudi tourism industry and Mekka.

Red Sea is about 2000 meters deep at this place, easy to hide.

On the other shore of Red Sea we have Egypt / Sudan border, near disputed triangle.

South of the border on Sudani coast of Red Sea there is nothing for 50 miles down to Port Sudan, so easy to hide.

Timing: No precise info in media, but probably before dawn, so enough time to escape in a fast, small vessel.

Way of attack and destruction to tanker: Precision missile attack to destroy vessel's oil tanks and cause oil spill

but not to cause casualties.

We do not yet know which missiles were used but I bet it would be missiles from

major suppliers very easy to get on black market, not state-of-the-art gear only limited number of countries have.

 

So the attack could be done by anybody (hired guns employed by any power, Saudis, Iranians, Yemeni, just anybody)

and all parties have plausible denial of the attack. Will only give some arguments for Saudi Arabia denial.

Saudi Arabia: will not attack nearly Mecca sanctuary and Jeddah as oil spill could do harm to Saudi coast and

missiles near the major airport are not good for tourism, etc.

Saudi Arabia would attackj Iran  near Yemeni border to blame botched attack by Houthis.

 

 

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That ship is 70+km from either shore, it cannot be a TOW type of missile there is no line of site as it's over the horizon

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Interesting that the name of the tanker is confused, Iranian news says it's the SIBITI not the SINOPA which was reported by many media sources.

The former is heading away from Suez and the later is heading towards Suez in which case probably carrying oil to Syria.

Anyway both were in more or less the same location.

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3 hours ago, El Nikko said:

That ship is 70+km from either shore, it cannot be a TOW type of missile there is no line of site as it's over the horizon

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There you go again, letting facts get in the way of a good story!

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News Flash!

Donald Trump was picked up on satellite, in a small boat loaded with fishing gear and multiple RPG launchers and rockets, speeding away from the stricken Iranian tanker. 

Sources close to Pelosi and Schiff report that the incident was to draw attention away from the impending impeachment.

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‘Way of attack and destruction to tanker: Precisionmissile attack to destroy vessel's oil tanks and causeoil spill

but not to cause casualties.’

This makes absolutely no sense all!

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(edited)

I think if it's true then it's probably drone launched missiles from either Saudi or Israel especially if the tanker was heading to Suez. A proper anti ship missile has 300-500 Kg of explosives, that would have made one hell of a bang.

Every day there is something more crazy in the news and still the market doesn't care, oil prices have barely changed.

Edit: 6 typos...impressive!

Edited by El Nikko

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The attack is interesting in that it is similar to the attack on Saudi's facilities. Precision targets, pre-dawn, and no causalities. 

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Due to the minimal damage and accuracy AND the fact that no launch seems to have been noted, I am guessing that the attack consisted of a rigid inflatable boat, a few guys with rocket propelled grenades or shoulder launched anti-tank missiles and a stationary target.

could easily be an IRANIAN false flag attack.

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23 minutes ago, Douglas Buckland said:

Due to the minimal damage and accuracy AND the fact that no launch seems to have been noted, I am guessing that the attack consisted of a rigid inflatable boat, a few guys with rocket propelled grenades or shoulder launched anti-tank missiles and a stationary target.

could easily be an IRANIAN false flag attack.

 

1 hour ago, El Nikko said:

Every day there is something more crazy in the news and still the market doesn't care, oil prices have barely changed.

So . . . you guys seem well informed and more knowledgeable than your usual world-watcher concerning that part of the world, the dynamics of the oil market, the likely oil supply crunch in store for the next decade, and in particular the roll-the-dice and sharp elbows of the current oil situation. What is you take on when it is likely that one of these small events--like you say, this one probably a couple of guys in a RIB and a grenade launcher--precipitates something much larger. I'm a neophyte, but these--the penny-ante ship grabs, the limited damage to the Apqaiq facility, now this--seem to be gently spiraling up to something much bigger. Yet Iran doesn't have the finances, nor do the Houthis, so what is the purpose of these little bee-stings? Testing the waters? Seeing what it'll take to pull in the US forces? And when and if does it turn into something that will move the markets? Thanks for your commentary.

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The Military Industrial Complex has tentacles everywhere. 

No one got the joke, Little Orphan Annie and her "Daddy" Warbucks. 

The Military Industrial Complex just laughs every time the useful idiot class blame oil for ruining the planet

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(edited)

I dont think the Saudis would want a oil spill disaster too close to their shores and , they have major desal plants along the coast in the area too, they cant control the flow and direction of the spill, it could very well cause their desals to stop operating.

Makes no tactical sense to have something so close to their shores. There are some reports the ship was carrying 1 mil bbls and was headed to the Gulf? that makes no sense either. Why would an oil tanker with oil go to the Gulf when all oil tankers loaded with oil leave the Gulf.

The Iranians are denying that it came from Saudi Arabia.

___________________________________________________________

"

Reports of the incident, which have so far only come from Iranian sources, offered sometimes diverging accounts. State television, citing the national oil company, said it was hit by missiles while denying a report they came from Saudi Arabia.

NITC said in statement on its website that "the blasts were probably caused by missile strikes" and it was investigating the source, adding two tanks were damaged but the crew was safe."

 

" Iran's Foreign Ministry said the ship was hit twice, without saying what struck it. State television broadcast images from the Sabiti's deck saying they were taken after the attack but showing no visible damage. The ship's hull was not in view. "

 

"

HEADING SOUTH

Refinitiv ship tracking information indicated the Sabiti, a Suezmax class tanker, was in the Red Sea and heading south under its own power, bound for Larak, off Iran's southern Gulf coast.

The data put the vessel's draft, or how deeply it sits in the water, at 53%, indicating it is not fully loaded.

The ship's Automatic Identification System (AIS), which gives its position, appeared to have been off for two months until transmissions resumed on Oct. 11, shortly after the incident. Refinitiv data showed it off Iran's Gulf coast in mid-August after passing through the Suez Canal in late July and early August.

Tracking service Marine Traffic said on Twitter that, based on its information, including a NASA shot of the area and AIS data, "we do not see any smoke, fire, spills or tugboats. Instead, we see a tanker cruising home at a healthy speed."

 

 

Pictures released on Iranian media later showed no discernible damage and no evidence of any fire.

TankerTrackers, which monitors oil exports, told the Telegraph there was no independent evidence to suggest the vessel had been hit. 

“Had she been struck, they wouldn't be sailing back as fast as they are sailing right now. She's moving at 10 knots an hour," they said.

 

 

Publicly-available ship tracking records show both ships are currently in the Red Sea. The Sinopa turned its transmitter on earlier this week for the first time in more than 50 days. The Sabiti, meanwhile, turned its tracker on early Friday after nearly 60 days of no transmissions.

It is common for Iranian tankers to turn off automatic identification systems (AIS) to avoid detection - often to evade international sanctions or harassment from Saudi Arabia.

TankerTrackers said this suggested the Sabiti, laden with one million barrels of oil may have been heading for Syria.

 

 

 

Edited by ceo_energemsier
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Let us not forget Iran has severe problems as their oil exports are...diminished. The drone attack on SA was a way to get attention, build  additional political tension. This hopefully would lead to intensified diplomatic discussions to reduce the increasing tension, thus remove the boycot. I believe we underestimate the impact of the boycot on Iran. We will see more "attacks" as long as the boycot is in place.

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4 hours ago, Gerry Maddoux said:

 

So . . . you guys seem well informed and more knowledgeable than your usual world-watcher concerning that part of the world, the dynamics of the oil market, the likely oil supply crunch in store for the next decade, and in particular the roll-the-dice and sharp elbows of the current oil situation. What is you take on when it is likely that one of these small events--like you say, this one probably a couple of guys in a RIB and a grenade launcher--precipitates something much larger. I'm a neophyte, but these--the penny-ante ship grabs, the limited damage to the Apqaiq facility, now this--seem to be gently spiraling up to something much bigger. Yet Iran doesn't have the finances, nor do the Houthis, so what is the purpose of these little bee-stings? Testing the waters? Seeing what it'll take to pull in the US forces? And when and if does it turn into something that will move the markets? Thanks for your commentary.

I think just like you and many of the people that post we're all trying to figure out what the heck is going on. Some of the things that are happening seem self explanatory and others seem quite bizzare. Until we get photographs and video footage I am very cautious to believe anything but I think there are plenty of possibilities. Doug's idea of a rib RPG attack is certainly plausable as is the possibility of a drone strike and also it's possible that the Iranians did it to themselves. Rememeber the tanker attacks earlier on where the narrative of torpedos changed to limpit mines and some people wondered if this was a possible false flag done by the Saudis to get US attention and force them to attack Iran or at least stop them from disengaging from Syria.

Tow type launchers are very unlikely as they have a short range and anti shipping missiles are radar guided and once launched and their radar seaker head is activated (range for that to happen is programable) they will lock on to what ever they see first so the chances of hitting the wrong ship are probably quite high...I really doubt the Saudis would do something so stupid as fire on of those over the horizon in the hope of hitting the right ship.

 

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2 hours ago, oilexpert.nl said:

Let us not forget Iran has severe problems as their oil exports are...diminished. The drone attack on SA was a way to get attention, build  additional political tension. This hopefully would lead to intensified diplomatic discussions to reduce the increasing tension, thus remove the boycot. I believe we underestimate the impact of the boycot on Iran. We will see more "attacks" as long as the boycot is in place.

 

I agree, inflation in Iran is at 40+ %

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If the ship was actually hit, wouldn’t an insurance claim be forthcoming?

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Yeah but will there be shooty? Let's cut the BS.

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Okay, thanks, I get all that. Truth is, we have Iran, beleaguered by sanctions and struggling to remain financially afloat in a very tough neighborhood, and Saudi Arabia, struggling mightily with starvation oil prices right before the Aramco IPO. Both countries are drama queens perfectly capable of playing the victim while shooting itself in the foot.  Despite these being the shipping lanes that we have watched for decades, we seem to have little or no public perception what has actually transpired. 

It is becoming more obvious as we go along that we either obtain our sour oil to mix at the refineries from Canada, leave Saudi Arabia to her own devices. Seems amazing to me that the US Wall Street firms are willing to value Aramco at 1.5 trillion, when this is so opaque--we can't even determine who blew holes in the Saudi sulfur separators or set an Iranian ship on fire. 

I guess I just don't get it. We have great oil assets in the GOM, not to mention the big find off Guyana. The shale can work as the swing producer--easily shut down and readily ramped up. If we can leave the Kurds to the whims of the Turks, then surely we can manage leaving the Saudis to Iran and the Wolves of Wall Street. 

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2 hours ago, Douglas Buckland said:

If the ship was actually hit, wouldn’t an insurance claim be forthcoming?

"Progressive" Insurance of Iran? 

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I don’t know! I was asking a question. I assume Iran must insure their vessels and cargo.

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57 minutes ago, Douglas Buckland said:

I don’t know! I was asking a question. I assume Iran must insure their vessels and cargo.

With the sanctions , lot of companies would not insure them , so they must have insurance otherwise they cant transport oil on , in and through international or sovereign waters. They must have the worst rated company to insure them , maybe a French company.

I diidnt pay much attention to it, but will ask one of my shipping brokers.

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I have an idea

Everyone should email Greenpeace urgently and ask them if they are monitoring the oil spill in the red sea, monitoring the damage to the environment is paramount.

Maybe they will send one of their ships or something lol

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Why not sudan the vessel was in the middle on the red sea?

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14 hours ago, Gerry Maddoux said:

Okay, thanks, I get all that. Truth is, we have Iran, beleaguered by sanctions and struggling to remain financially afloat in a very tough neighborhood, and Saudi Arabia, struggling mightily with starvation oil prices right before the Aramco IPO. Both countries are drama queens perfectly capable of playing the victim while shooting itself in the foot.  Despite these being the shipping lanes that we have watched for decades, we seem to have little or no public perception what has actually transpired. 

It is becoming more obvious as we go along that we either obtain our sour oil to mix at the refineries from Canada, leave Saudi Arabia to her own devices. Seems amazing to me that the US Wall Street firms are willing to value Aramco at 1.5 trillion, when this is so opaque--we can't even determine who blew holes in the Saudi sulfur separators or set an Iranian ship on fire. 

I guess I just don't get it. We have great oil assets in the GOM, not to mention the big find off Guyana. The shale can work as the swing producer--easily shut down and readily ramped up. If we can leave the Kurds to the whims of the Turks, then surely we can manage leaving the Saudis to Iran and the Wolves of Wall Street. 

Well, you'd think that, but the Permian still doesn't have the infrastructure needed to get that much oil to the Gulf, plus shale is driven by investors, unlike state owned oil, and they're pretty weary at the moment.

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