Shell Not Taking British-Flagged Tankers Through Hormuz

LONDON, Aug 1 (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell is not taking any British-flagged tankers through the Strait of Hormuz amid heightened tensions with Iran in the vital chokepoint for oil shipments.

“There are Shell-managed vessels in the Strait of Hormuz and that will probably continue to be the case. Currently, though, there are no UK-flagged vessels,” Chief Executive Ben van Beurden told reporters.

If the Anglo-Dutch oil and gas company does use a British-flagged vessel in the future, it will be accompanied by the Royal Navy as a precaution, van Beurden added.

Shell’s rival BP on Tuesday said it had not taken any of its own tankers through the Strait of Hormuz, along which about a fifth of the world’s oil passes, since a July 10 attempt by Iran to seize one of its vessels.

That came two weeks after British forces captured an Iranian oil tanker near Gibraltar suspected of violating European Union sanctions on Syria.

(Reporting by Ron Bousso Editing by Dale Hudson and David Goodman)