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Crude Set to Soar

Crude Set to Soar

by Selwyn Manning - Scoop Deputy Editor

Crude oil prices jumped 1.3% overnight to over USD$30 per barrel after a suspected terrorist attack exploded a French oil tanker off the Yemen coast.

French experts have been sent to investigate what caused the French-owned oil tanker to burst into flames. The owners allege terrorists attacked the vessel.

The supertanker Limburg exploded into flames near the mouth of the Red Sea after a smaller vessel was seen speeding toward the tanker.

The price of oil pitched upward due to fears that renewed terrorist activity had begun.

Oil prices have been climbing since the USA and Britain began making threats of war against Iraq, Prices are expected to rise further because of concerns about the disruption of supply from the Middle East.

Captain Peter Raes, managing director of the tanker's owner France Ship said last night it would be "near impossible" for an accidental explosion to have taken place.

The BBC reported a junior officer onboard saw a craft approaching the Limburg. The explosion, he said, occurred after the smaller craft “touched” the Limburg.

The French Foreign Ministry said it was too early to say what had caused the explosion.

In 2000, 17 United States sailors were killed when the USS Cole was struck in Yemen by a small vessel laden with explosives. USS Cole, said to be one of the USA’s most advanced ships, was left disabled after the attack.

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