Another spike in fuel costs may be on the horizon after BP suspended shipments of oil and gas through the Red Sea following a series of attacks by Houthi militants.

Immediately following the energy giant's announcement, the price of Brent crude jumped by almost 3%.

BP said: "In our trading and shipping business, as in all BP businesses, the safety and security of our people and those working on our behalf is BP’s priority.

"In light of the deteriorating security situation for shipping in the Red Sea, BP has decided to temporarily pause all transits through the Red Sea.

"We will keep this precautionary pause under ongoing review, subject to circumstances as they evolve in the region."

Shipments must travel through the Red Sea in order to access the Suez Canal, which itself accounts for nearly an eighth of all global trade, while around 10% of the world’s trade in crude and oil products travels through the canal, primarily to Europe.

The announcement has led to warnings that fuel prices will rise by an additional 3p per litre early in next year.

There's also fears that further disruption in the Red Sea could be worse than the infamous Ever Given blockage in the Suez Canal three years ago, which cost around £7.6billion a day.

Marco Forgione, director general at the Institute of Export and International Trade, told The Telegraph: "This is potentially more serious than what happened with Ever Given because that was a delay caused by a ship, and there was a single resolution.

"What we are seeing now is shipping lines diverting and you can’t just switch that on and off again. Once BP starts sending ships around the Cape of Good Hope, those ships continue on to a different place altogether."

It's unclear whether other companies will follow similar measures introduced by BP.

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