iran Korea tanker Arabian gulf
A seized South Korean-flagged tanker is escorted by Iranian Revolutionary Guard boats in the Arabian Gulf. Image Credit: AP file

DUBAI: The US Navy said it intervened to prevent Iran from seizing two commercial tankers in the Gulf on Wednesday in the latest in a series of seizures or attacks on ships in the area since 2019.

Chevron said one incident involved the Richmond Voyager, a very large crude carrier managed by the US oil company, and that crew onboard were safe.

An Iranian navy vessel fired shots during the second seizure attempt, Navy Fifth Fleet spokesperson Timothy Hawkins said.

Both incidents took place in the Gulf in waters between Iran and Oman.

Hawkins did not say how the US Navy prevented their seizure. Details regarding the second vessel involved in the incident were not immediately clear.

Since 2019, there have been a series of attacks on shipping in the strategic Gulf waters at times of tension between the United States and Iran.

Iran seized two oil tankers in a week just over a month ago, the US Navy said.

About a fifth of the world’s supply of crude oil and oil products passes through the Strait of Hormuz, a choke point between Iran and Oman, according to data from analytics firm Vortexa.

Refinitiv ship tracking data shows the Richmond Voyager previously docked in Ras Tannoura in eastern Saudi Arabia before Wednesday’s incident in the Gulf.

A Chevon spokesperson said “there is no loss of life, injury, or loss of containment” aboard the Richmond Voyager.

“The vessel is operating normally. The safety of our crew is our top priority,” the spokesperson said in a statement.