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15

Suez Canal Shut Off, Oil Prices To Soar

Shipping through Suez Canal, the world's most important thruway, had been stopped after a Russian company...

Shipping through Suez Canal, the world's most important thruway, had been stopped after a Russian company Sovkomflot?s oil tanker named Tropic Brilliance struck ground. Tuesday morning already 135 ships had been blocked, and now many law suits threaten Russia.

Sovkomflot is a state-run company. The law suits may be brought not only by Egyptian government, but by shipping companies and oil companies, who are suffering losses due to their contracts? defaults. At the least estimate, the suits may surpass $2 billion.

The incident occurred in the midday of November 6th. Tropic Brilliance has struck ground about three miles north from the city of Ismailia while manoeuvring with Egyptian pilot on board. According to a Russian daily Kommersant, the rudder control of the tanker got out of order. Tropic Brilliance struck across the canal, which is 169 m of width.

On Tuesday Egyptian rescue groups started unloading of oil from the tanker, which has 142 thousand tons of oil on board.

About 50 oil ships go through Suez Canal daily to all European ports from Persian Gulf. If the delay in delivery doesn?t end up on some of these days, crude oil prices may surge $1.5 a barrel.