According to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), the oil company Shell will no longer allow its ships to sail through the Red Sea on Tuesday until further notice because Yemen's Houthi rebels are threatening maritime traffic in the region.
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According to the business newspaper, the group made this decision last week taking into account these threats to its crews and the risk of oil spills in the region in the event of attacks.
A Shell spokesman contacted by AFP declined to comment.
On Tuesday, a new ship, Greek, en route to the Suez Canal was hit by a missile from the Yemeni group. This ship and other ships from the same fleet have stopped in Israel since October 7th.
Almost thirty ships have been fired upon or attacked by the Houthis since the end of November.
Iran-backed Yemen's Houthi rebels have stepped up attacks in the Red Sea in recent weeks on ships they suspect are linked to Israel, claiming they are acting in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza are confronted with the war between the Islamist movement Hamas and Israel.
The attacks in the Red Sea, through which 12% of global trade passes, prompted the United States and the United Kingdom on Friday and Saturday to attack rebels in Yemen, who responded on Monday by firing a missile at an American cargo ship, causing no damage to cause injury or major damage.
The Houthi attacks have forced many shipping companies to avoid the area and take a longer route around the tip of Africa, at the expense of higher transportation costs and longer delivery times.
Among oil companies, BP and QatarEnergy have already announced that they will avoid the Red Sea from now on, and Danish shipping giant Maersk is also making a similar decision.
Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahmane Al-Thani, who was present at the World Economic Forum in Davos, eastern Switzerland, estimated that the escalation in the Red Sea will have an impact on the transport of liquefied natural gas (LNG).
“There are alternative routes, but these routes (…) are less efficient than the current route” across the Red Sea, emphasized the Qatari prime minister, whose country is one of the largest LNG producers in the world.