Oil tanker, pipeline attacks ‘a warning of what’s to come’ if Iran standoff escalates, Baker Institute expert says


Jeff Falk

Oil tanker, pipeline attacks ‘a warning of what’s to come’ if Iran standoff escalates, Baker Institute expert says

HOUSTON — (May 16, 2019) — U.S. officials have said they believe Iranian combat divers were behind the attacks on four oil tankers near the Persian Gulf over the weekend. The attacks close to Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates – as well as a drone attack Tuesday on Saudi Arabia’s East-West pipeline — appear to target oil export infrastructure that lies outside the strategic Strait of Hormuz chokepoint, perhaps deliberately, according to an expert at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy.

Credit: 123RF.com/Rice University

“Whoever’s behind these attacks seems to be signaling that no country’s oil exports are safe,” said Jim Krane, the Wallace S. Wilson Fellow for Energy Studies, who is available to discuss the oil and gas-related implications with the news media.

“The attacks seem to demonstrate that, even though the UAE and Saudi have taken steps to mitigate risk, they’re still at risk,” said Krane, the author of “Energy Kingdoms: Oil and Political Survival in the Persian Gulf.”

“It’s a warning of what’s to come if this standoff between the U.S. and Iran escalates,” he said. “It’s a dangerous path to go down.”

Krane, a member of the Baker Institute’s Center for Energy Studies, specializes in energy geopolitics and energy consumption in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East.


For more information or to schedule an interview with Krane, contact Jeff Falk, associate director of national media relations at Rice, at jfalk@rice.edu or 713-348-6327. The Baker Institute has a radio and television studio available.

Related materials:

Krane bio: www.bakerinstitute.org/experts/jim-krane

Krane on Twitter: http://twitter.com/jimkrane @jimkrane

Follow the Baker Institute via Twitter @BakerInstitute.

Follow the Center for Energy Studies via Twitter @CES_Baker_Inst.

Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.

Founded in 1993, Rice University’s Baker Institute ranks among the top three university-affiliated think tanks in the world. As a premier nonpartisan think tank, the institute conducts research on domestic and foreign policy issues with the goal of bridging the gap between the theory and practice of public policy. The institute’s strong track record of achievement reflects the work of its endowed fellows, Rice University faculty scholars and staff, coupled with its outreach to the Rice student body through fellow-taught classes — including a public policy course — and student leadership and internship programs. Learn more about the institute at www.bakerinstitute.org or on the institute’s blog, http://blogs.chron.com/bakerblog.

About Jeff Falk

Jeff Falk is director of national media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.