Saudi tankers ship oil again in Bab Al-Mandeb

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General view of Saudi Aramco's Ras Tanura oil refinery and oil terminal in eastern Saudi Arabia. (REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah/File Photo)
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The Kingdom had temporarily stopped moving crude through the strait on July 25 after attacks by Houthi militias in Yemen on two oil tankers sent shockwaves through global energy markets. (File photo: AFP)
Updated 05 August 2018
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Saudi tankers ship oil again in Bab Al-Mandeb

  • Coalition takes ‘necessary measures’ to secure key Red Sea waterway
  • After Saudi Arabia halted shipments, the Houthis said they would also halt attacks in the Red Sea for two weeks to support peace efforts

DUBAI/LONDON:  Saudi Arabia has resumed oil shipments through the strategic Red Sea shipping lane of Bab Al-Mandeb.

The Kingdom had temporarily stopped moving crude through the strait on July 25 after attacks by Houthi militias in Yemen on two oil tankers sent shockwaves through global energy markets.

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said: “The decision to resume oil shipment through the strait of Bab Al-Mandeb was made after the leadership of the coalition has taken necessary measures to protect the coalition states’ ships.”

The measures were taken “in co-ordination with the international community,” the minister said. 

Saudi Aramco also confirmed that shipping had resumed, effective immediately. “The company is careful to continue monitoring and evaluating the current situation in coordination with the relevant bodies and take all necessary procedures to ensure safety,” it said.

Saudi Arabia leads an Arab coalition against the Houthis to restore Yemen’s legitimate government, but the attacks on the tankers were the first time the conflict threatened to disrupt energy markets.

Houthis’ weapons hunt

The Bab Al-Mandeb strait is a narrow waterway connecting the Red Sea with the Gulf of Aden in the Arabian Sea. 

After Saudi Arabia halted shipments, the Houthis said they would also halt attacks in the Red Sea for two weeks to support peace efforts.

The resumption of shipments through the waterway is good news for both consumers and oil companies who until now had been pondering the impact of either paying higher insurance premiums to use the channel or re-route exports around Africa.

Meanwhile, North Korea supplied weapons including ballistic missiles to the Houthis after a deal reached in Damascus in 2016, according to a report by a UN investigation team.

The report said Syrian arms trafficker Hussein Al-Ali offered “a range of conventional arms, and in some cases ballistic missiles to armed groups in Yemen and Libya.”


Middle East ride-hailing app Careem secures $200 million new funding

Updated 21 min 13 sec ago
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Middle East ride-hailing app Careem secures $200 million new funding

  • Careem has expanded into new markets this year such as Sudan and has been trialing food delivery services since February
  • Careem, founded in 2012, says it has 30 million registered users in over 120 cities

DUBAI: Middle East ride-hailing company Careem said on Thursday it had secured $200 million in new funding from existing investors, including from Saudi Arabian billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal’s Kingdom Holding.
Dubai-headquartered Careem, the main regional rival of Uber Technologies, has expanded into new markets this year such as Sudan and has been trialing food delivery services since February.
The $200 million was the first close of a funding round in which it expects to raise over $500 million, Careem said in a statement.
The $200 million raised from existing investors also includes Saudi Arabia’s Al Tayyar Group and STV, and Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten, Careem said.
It was not immediately clear what Careem’s valuation would be after securing the latest funding. It was estimated to be worth about $1 billion as of December 2016.
Reuters reported in March Careem was in early talks to raise as much as $500 million from investors.
Careem, founded in 2012, says it has 30 million registered users in over 120 cities in the Middle East, North Africa, Turkey and Pakistan.
Careem has previously raised funding from German car maker Daimler and China’s largest ride-hailing company DiDi Chuxing, among others.