Japanese Tanker Damaged In Straits Of Hormuz; Outside Attack Considered

Tyler Durden's picture

Some unpleasant possibilities to consider in the aftermath of what appears to have been an attack on a Japanese VLCC. And, of course, if this is another Cheonan in the making, why pick a Japanese false flag scenario? With two US aircraft carriers in the vicinity, one would imagine we should have a pretty good picture of what really happened. Something tells us the official explanation of an "earthquake" as responsible for the boat damage just won't fly.

From Reuters:

A Japanese oil tanker damaged in an explosion in the Strait of Hormuz, one of the world's most important shipping lanes, was being diverted to a port in the UAE on Wednesday.

One of the 31 crew aboard was injured but no oil leaked from the M Star very large crude carrier (VLCC), according to the Japanese transport ministry.

It said an explosion occurred onboard at around 00:30 a.m. local time (2030 GMT Tuesday), but the cause was unclear.

"A crew member saw light on the horizon just before the explosion, so (ship owner Mitsui O.S.K.) believes there is a possibility it was caused by an outside attack," Japan's ministry said in a statement.

Oman's coastguard said there was no evidence of any attack on the tanker and instead cited an earthquake.

"The boat was hit by a tremor ...we have no information of an attack," an Omani coastguard official told Reuters.

The Strait of Hormuz remained open and it was "business as usual," an official from the Omani ministry of transport said.

Al Qaeda has threatened to attack shipping in the Strait of Hormuz, a route used by some 40 percent of the world's seaborne oil.

The ship was sailing under its own power toward Fujairah port in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to check the damage, a Mitsui O.S.K. Lines spokesman said.

The tanker bound for Chiba, near Tokyo, was carrying around 2.3 million barrels of Qatar Land and Abu Dhabi Lower Zakum crudes, industry sources said.

It carried 16 Filipino and 15 Indian crew members.

Any impact on the Asian spot crude market would be negligible and the tanker would have taken three weeks to arrive in Japan, traders said.

"This (event) won't stop the flow of crude, so there will be no impact on what is able to be bought," a Tokyo-based crude trader said.

Around 17 million barrels per day of oil flow via the Strait of Hormuz, and Middle East crude accounts for 90 percent of Japan's total imports.

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carbonmutant's picture

"A more detailed assessment of the damage and the cause of the explosion is expected to be carried out once the ship reaches Fujairah. "

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Something tells us the official explanation of an "earthquake" as responsible for the boat damage just won't fly.

Oman's coastguard said there was no evidence of any attack on the tanker and instead cited an earthquake.

"The boat was hit by a tremor ...we have no information of an attack," an Omani coastguard official told Reuters.

I know. Someone "spilled" a little oil in the Strait, causing the ships to start slip sliding away, which in turn caused a "waterquake". You heard it here first Boys and Girls.

LeBalance's picture

I farted in the bathtub and that caused a .357 bullet to pass through my head.  Direct causation is proven!

Whizbang's picture

*Flagged as Hilarious!


I wonder what the odds are that some of the money getting airlifted out of afghanistan is being used to buy oil futures. Imagine if one of these tankers goes down and shuts the straits down. 200$ oil baby!

Trundle's picture

Are you saying we need another Warren commission?

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

CogDis to the rescue!

ZH has helped me climb out of the blues today.  Since my friend died Monday, I take humor where I find it.

ZH rocks.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

You mean Creating News Because they Can?

MayIMommaDogFace2theBananaPatch's picture

That is SO much more acronymic than:

Just Makin' Shit Up...

-Michelle-'s picture

That would be some earthquake to affect a boat at sea. 

Eternal Student's picture

Yeah. Whenever there's an earthquake in California, those ships in port are always the first to go. </joke>

I was wondering what happened to Iraq's Minister of Information, and where he went to. Now we know.

MachoMan's picture

We clear the whole lot of them!

As the split screen pans to our troops at Baghdad Airport.

It's a bitch when all of your information is controlled by the enemy...

RichardP's picture

There were earthquakes reported in Iran shortly before the incident.  The news report says "a wave caused by the earthquake" may be responsible - which is much more understandable.

seventree's picture

A wave caused by an earthquake is called a tsunami if it's big enough. And even then the wave height and period as it travels in deep water are almost undetectable from an average size boat, let alone a super tanker. This is something altogether different (or possibly a non-event).

carbonmutant's picture

"...earthquakes reported in Iran shortly before the incident"

You mean the earthquake on Saturday? And the wave hit on Wednesday...


MayIMommaDogFace2theBananaPatch's picture

Well-known phenomenon -- liquids concentrate rather than dissipate energy...

For instance, when you're standing waist-deep in the lake, slapping the surface gently with your hands, there are fish miles away getting knocked senseless from the concentrated, amplified shock...


Has anyone read "Post-Normal Science" (Ravetz I think).  I have not, but just the title has my curiousity piqued.

Missing_Link's picture

No.  Google "Strait of Hormuz."  It's a very narrow, very shallow strait -- it is not "at sea."

There have been many estimates that Iran could easily block off the Strait of Hormuz -- AND THE ENTIRE PERSIAN GULF AND ALL ITS OIL SUPPLIES -- by sinking a single large oil tanker in just the right part of the Strait of Hormuz.

That gives you an idea of how small and shallow it is.

WaterWings's picture

ZH still lets you post around here? Paraphrasing you, from numerous occasions, "I'm starting to wonder about this site."

Depths in this area reach over 650 feet, but the Omani government restricts access to this area to smaller vessels in normal, peacetime situations. Prior to 1979, the Inshore Traffic Zone served as the main shipping channel through the Strait.


SilverIsKing's picture

Very narrow and shallow in the Strait of Hormuz.

Check this old pic of me and my bro swimming in the SOH:


trav7777's picture

WTF is it every time ANYTHING happens, they trot out the "AL QAIDA blablabla"??  WTF, is AQ causing sunspots now?!

My money is on Somali stowaways

LeBalance's picture

Trav, trav, trav....Come on Dude.  This is FEAR central you are dealing with.  Its all the alien zombie witch whores fault.  !!!!!

Tim Osman is a CIA asset.  Tim Osman is Osama bin Laden.  Osama is Al Queda's figure head, but not the reality of "The Base."  The Base is CIA.

/tin foil condom: off/

old_turk's picture

Its all the alien zombie witch whores fault.  !!!!!


I knew it!!!!!

I was actually worried there for a moment that it was Dal-Lecs or the Cybermen.

whatsinaname's picture

there is no oil now in the GOM.

must have slipped into hormuz.

Oh regional Indian's picture

Wow! What an on-time signal.

Another pre-echo of what is coming.

Wonder what the name of the Japanese ship is...

Update Edit: M Star..... hmmmmmm.....Brown Dwarf..

Update 2: M Star most often refers to Morning Star, Venus... Lucifer..

I think, unlike Clif High Et. al, that we are going to see a church implosion, possibly via the mysterious Mr. Assange? A big leak on the church.

T-2 days. Or  so. The plot thickens...






walcott's picture

tora, tora, tora!

walcott's picture

tora, tora, tora!

MsCreant's picture




Fight de bull Señor.


traderjoe's picture

Please people, Larry Kudlow is trying to turn pessimism into hope. Can we stick to the message that everything is ok?

See the gas riots in India the other week? How about the gas shortages in Greece and other countries due to supply concerns from Russia? How about the Russian heat wave/drought decimating crops? Not to try to read something into everything, but the sheeple are feeling the impacts of the PTB's manipulations...

Payne's picture

blast from a large explosion would resemble an earthquake at sea.  I wonder what direction the bright light in the sky was?  

CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

I wonder what direction the bright light in the sky was?

Not to worry, Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar. are on it.

MayIMommaDogFace2theBananaPatch's picture

Not to worry, Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar. are on it.

BWAWHAHAHA.  Two Magi and a cartoon Ghost!!!

What the @#$% good is frankincense or myrrh?  GOLD BITCHEZ!!!

Cincitucky's picture

What we didn't know was the Strait is only a few feet deep and this tanker is fording this large (but shallow) body of water with the hundreds of Goodyear tires lining both sides of it.

I now believe the earthquake explanation.

trav7777's picture

I suspect the same thing as you:  that underinflation of these tires caused a high speed blowout and resulting crash

RichardP's picture

There were several earthquakes in Iran along the Strait of Hormuz shortly before this incident.  Some speculate that the ship was struck by a large wave generated by the earthquake(s).

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Could you provide a link or news source please? Thanks.

carbonmutant's picture

 Unfortunately these virtual "quakes" aren't showing up on any of the seismometers in the region.

MayIMommaDogFace2theBananaPatch's picture

They'll wheel out "Baghdad Bob" later today with his own personal, specially-calibrated seismometer.

Should clear up everything...Including the multi-day time lag...

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Here it is folks, courtesy of Augustus further down this thread, a poor hungry bedragled escapee from the BP/GW GOM threads. Looks like everyone has their story's set now that it's been released by the MSM.


It might be helpful if there were pictures of the wave or at least the damage. HD TV images from any of the dozen BP ROV's will be considered acceptable. Thank you.

<joke alert, this is a joke folks, please hold the junks, it was all just a silly joke>

Cincitucky's picture

See a freak wave, call it an explosion.  Witness an explosion, its a freak wave.  Don't worry, the two are frequently confused.