June 14, 2019 / 10:36 AM / 3 days ago

Taiwan's CPC sees little impact after tanker attacked in Middle East

TAIPEI (Reuters) - Taiwan’s state oil refiner CPC Corp said on Friday it was still assessing the damage to a tanker it had charted to carry fuel from the Middle East that was suspected to have been attacked, while the company expected little impact to its supplies.

A handout photo made available by the Norwegian shipowner Frontline of the crude oil tanker Front Altair after the fire onboard the ship in the Gulf of Oman, June 13, 2019. Frontline/NTB Scanpix/via REUTERS

Tanker Front Altair was one of the two ships that was attacked in the Gulf of Oman. The United States blamed Iran for attacks that drove up oil prices and raised concerns about a new U.S.-Iranian confrontation.

Tehran bluntly denied the allegations that it was involved.

Front Altair was carrying 75,000 tonnes of naphtha, a petrochemical feedstock, when it was suspected of being hit by a torpedo, CPC said.

CPC’s vice president, Chiu Chia-shou, told reporters in Taipei on Friday that the company was still accessing the damage to the tanker. The vessel was still afloat in the Gulf of Oman, according to shipping data on Refinitiv Eikon.

Chiu said the incident would have little impact to oil products and petrochemical supplies for both Taiwan and CPC thanks to abundant inventories.

The ship was chartered by shipping company Ocean Energy on behalf of CPC, while the cargo was sold by Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), CPC said.

The cargo is worth about $34 million, Chiu said, adding that the shipment was fully insured and the company expected a loss of roughly NT$8 million ($250,000).

The ship was scheduled to arrive in Taiwan in July.

(This story corrects misspelled word in first paragraph)

Reporting by Yimou Lee; Editing by Tom Hogue

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