February 22, 2024
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Largest Middle East Oil Bunkering hub suffers disruption due to extreme weather

Largest Middle East Oil Bunkering hub suffers disruption due to extreme weather :

Largest Middle East Oil Bunkering hub suffers disruption due to extreme weather

Extreme weather has resulted in one of the biggest oil bunkering ports in the world being closed down suddenly. The unusually heavy rains and flash floods in UAE forced the Fujairah port to an overnight closure. Notably, it is reported that operations are slowing resuming, although the disruptions are still preventing bunkering. While the port has indeed started to reopen, some berths remain out of commission. This is due to the physical impact of the stormy weather.

The Situation in Fujairah

The heavy rains hit Fujairah, resulting in all port operations being brought to a standstill. The military was called to lead rescue operations overnight across the province of Fujairah. According to MSN, amid the emergency weather incident, more than 800 people have been rescued so far. Similarly, 3,800 people have been relocated to emergency shelters. No deaths and casualties have been reported.

In response, the National Centre of Meteorology has issued a red weather alert for Fujairah. Port authorities have also imposed restrictions on movement in the port area until further notice.

Impact on Global Oil Shipping

Notably, the port, which is on the eastern coast of the UAE, is of strategic importance to the global oil shipping industry. This is because the port is a strategic gateway to the Strait of Hormuz, which handles about one-fifth of all global oil shipping via sea. In addition to its critical location, the port’s deep water channel makes it ideal for large oil vessels. Thus, the port is the main bunkering location in the region. In fact, the port is the world’s third largest bunkering hub, further contextualizing the impact of the extreme weather.

Expectedly, the current conditions of the port have had ripple effects. For instance, according to Argus, Terminal operator and bunker supplier GPS Chemoil has announced a force majeure due to the situation. In addition, GPS Chemoil has stated that the flooding of its terminal has resulted in the pumphouse being completely submerged. Similarly, as reported by Argus, a Fujairah-based bunker trader stated that there will be delays and a backlog in delivery operations due to the port’s operational standstill.

The Extreme Weather – Explained

According to a spokesperson for the NCM, the extreme weather was caused by a bout of upper and surface air depression. The air depression appears to be from northern India through southern Pakistan, heading towards the UAE. This resulted in the formation of heavy rain clouds that then impacted the Fujairah port. The spokesperson added that the depression is expected to continue to exist in the west of the country. Fortunately, it is expected to gradually weaken, although there is still the chance of some rain clouds forming over some regions in the country.

Notably, this was the highest level of rainfall the emirate has experienced in nearly decades. Meteorologists have recorded 221.8 mm of rainfall. Similarly, video footage from locals show many parts of the province submerged.

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Last Updated on 3 months by newseditor

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