Petronas Chartered Tanker Which Exploded Offshore Yemen

Petronas has confirmed that it chartered the French-owned Very Large Crude Carrier MT Limburg which suffered an explosion off the coast of Yemen on October 6th.

The vessel was loaded with about 400,000 barrels of Arab Heavy crude oil from Ras Tanura, Saudi Arabia and was on its way to load another 1.5 million barrels of Masila crude at Ash Shihr, east of Al- Mukalla, in Yemen when the incident occurred. The terminal lies at the end of an 86-mile pipeline which carries oil from Yemen's Masila field. The pipeline, which opened in 1993, can carry as much as 220,000 barrels a day. Nexen Inc., has been appointed to clean up the oil spillage.

The cargo was purchased for the Petronas joint venture Malaysian Refining Company in Melaka. The company has made alternative arrangements to ensure that feedstock supply for its Melaka refinery is not disrupted due to the incident.

According to Qatar's Al-Jazeera news service the fire on the tanker has now been extinguished, though there is still smoke billowing from the vessel drifting eight miles off the town of Al-Mukalla. The cause of the blast is will be investigated by the Yemen and French authorities.