"In the interest of the safety of ships and their crews and to avoid the risk of oil spill, Saudi Aramco has temporarily halted all oil shipments through Bab El-Mandeb Strait with immediate effect", it said.
Saudi Arabia has temporarily suspended oil shipments through the Bab el-Mandeb Strait separating the Red Sea from the Indian Ocean, after Houthi rebels in Yemen reportedly launched attacks on a pair of tankers, causing damage to one.
Each tanker, operated by the Saudi National Shipping Company, Bahri, was carrying 2 million barrels of crude produced by state energy giant Saudi Aramco when they were attacked by Houthi militia, according to Falih.
The world's largest oil exporter has kept its crude shipments flowing during previous regional conflicts, including the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war when the two sides sought to disrupt each other's oil exports in what was known as the Tanker War.
A decision was taken quickly to halt all oil and product shipments in the Red Sea that go through the narrow channel.
The Houthis have previously threatened to block the strait while Iran has threatened to block another strategic shipping route, the Strait of Hormuz. It took one large Saudi oil tanker to disappear in order for countries to react to other attacks on vessels from Somalis.
Earlier this month, the alliance called a halt to the offensive in order to give United Nations efforts to reach a political solution a chance.
"Port of Hodeida is still the starting point of terrorist attacks".
According to the US Energy Information Administration, around 4.6 million barrels of crude and refined petroleum exports per day flowed through the Strait in 2016, headed towards Europe, Asia and the United States.
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As high oil prices and improved efficiency force refineries in the U.S. and Europe toward closure, the industry is shifting toward the Middle East and Asia in a move fueled by a thirst for energy among emerging economies.
The Bab al-Mandeb strait is only 18 miles (29 km) wide, making hundreds of ships potentially an easy target.
Oil tankers from the Gulf pass through the Bab al-Mandab to enter the Red Sea as they head for Europe via the Suez Canal.
"This terrorist attack is a risky threat to the freedom of navigation and global trade in the Red Sea", said Turki al-Maliki, a spokesman for a Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen. The statement said nobody was injured and the damage posed no threat to the environment.
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On Thursday, Houthi leader Mohammed Ali al-Houthi claimed the group's navy had the capacity to reach the high seas and Saudi ports.
The UN World Food Programme said four in every 10 children under five were now acutely malnourished, and put the number of people displaced since the Hodeidah offensive began at 200,000.
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