Two weeks ago oil spiked on news Iran had seized a trespassing cargo ship which allegedly had 34 Americans on board. The ship ended up having no Americans and instead was of a Marshall Islands origin, and its fate was promptly forgotten, but ever since then the US launched a chaperone service for various ships traversing the Straits of Hormuz, inching toward a confrontation with Iran. Moments ago we got just one such escalation when as CNN's Jim Sciutto reported, Iran boats fired on a Singapore cargo ship which then promptly fled into UAE waters.
Breaking: 5 #Iran Revolutionary Guard boats fire across bow of Singapore-flagged cargo ship, ship fled to UAE waters, no U.S. on board— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) May 14, 2015
So far no notable reaction in oil. Some more from Reuters:
Iranian naval vessels fired what appeared to be warning shots over a Singapore-flagged ship in international waters in the Gulf on Thursday, prompting it to flee to United Arab Emirates waters, U.S. officials said. The Alpine Eternity, a 29,130 gross tonnes oil products tanker, has safely reached the UAE port of Jebel Ali after coming under attack in the Gulf, its manager said.
The UAE sent Coast Guard vessels toward the ship once it reached UAE waters and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy ships turned away, one U.S. official told Reuters, adding the account was based on preliminary information. The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, were unaware of any U.S. Navy involvement.
A spokesman for the vessel's Norwegian manager Transpetrol said it was attacked at sea at 0800 GMT on Thursday on its way to the UAE port of Fujairah.
"The nature of the attack is still unclear," the spokesman said. "She reached UAE waters and she is in the port of Jebel Ali now. The vessel is safe and there are no injuries to crew." The spokesman said the attack had been reported to Singaporean authorities.