Another VLCC has been involved in a drone attack in the Middle East, a week after an Eastern Pacific Shipping vessel was struck by a projectile.

Houthi rebels attacked the al-Dhabba oil terminal in Hadhramaut province on Monday, according to both the group and Yemen’s internationally recognised government.

The 320,500-dwt VLCC Pratika (ex-Maran Andromeda, built 2005) was at the al-Shihr port to load crude at the time.

The Iran-aligned Houthis fired a projectile from a drone that landed at the entrance of the terminal, two workers there told Reuters.

The Panama-flagged Pratika left after the attack, the workers added.

The UK Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO), which is part of the British Royal Navy, said it received a report that a missile or rocket attack had been carried out at al-Shihr against a single-point mooring at 12:12 GMT.

UKMTO said all crew and the vessel were safe, but it withheld the name of the ship.

The Houthis’ military spokesman said a vessel was forced to leave the port at al-Dhabba.

Ambrey Intelligence said the ship’s AIS remained on but showed "an anomaly" during the morning of the incident.

The vessel subsequently departed port without appearing to conduct cargo operations, the maritime security company said.

Refinitiv data showed the Pratika in the Gulf of Aden at 19:52 GMT, headed for Suez.

The Saudi-backed government’s military said al-Dhabba’s oil export platform was hit.

The tanker was bought by Hong Kong oil trader Gigantic Ozone Energy earlier this year from Greece’s Angelicoussis Group.

EPS tanker hit

On 16 November, the Eastern Pacific-owned, 50,000-dwt tanker Pacific Zircon (built 2013) suffered only minor damage in a drone attack, with no injuries to the crew.

The ship, loaded with gas oil, was struck about 150 miles (241 km) off the coast of Oman, the Idan Ofer-owned company said.

It was sailing from Oman to Buenos Aires, Argentina, according to data analytics provider Kpler.

Nobody immediately claimed responsibility for the attack but it came as the European Union, UK and US imposed new sanctions on Iran in response to drone sales to Russia to support its invasion of Ukraine.

Iran has been blamed for a mysterious series of attacks that targeted shipping, which led to a US-led multinational patrol group being set up in the area in 2019. Iran has been previously accused of targeting Israeli-owned ships.