Louisville company monitoring tanker attack, shipping routes in Middle East

Louisville company monitoring tanker attack, shipping routes in Middle East

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Iran is denying responsibility for attacking two tankers near the Strait of Hormuz -- a major shipping route near the Persian Gulf.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pointed the finger at Iran, based on the weapons used and the sophistication of the attack. One tanker was owned by a Japanese company and the other by a Norwegian company.

All crew members were safely evacuated.

VesselTracker was receiving transmissions from both tankers at the time of the attack. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
VesselTracker was receiving transmissions from both tankers at the time of the attack. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

While the world was trying to figure out what was happening, one Louisville business already knew when the boats were stopped in their tracks.

Genscape provides data and intelligence for commodity and energy markets. The company has offices all around the world, but is headquartered in Louisville.

The international incident was probed Thursday by a handful of analysts in the dimly lit Louisville office.

“If you look at its path of the past five or six days,” Ryan Saxton, Genscape Director of Oil Midstream, said. “Passed through the Strait of Hormuz. Then, out into the Gulf of Oman, where the attack occurred.”

Saxton uses VesselTracker. He said the technology allows Genscape to see shipping movements by tapping into the world’s largest network of satellite and land-based trackers, receiving transmissions from each boat.

Saxton said the tool is most useful when you look for trends in all the data. He added that’s the case for the incident near Iran.

“I’m looking at the two vessels that were affected as part of the attack,” Saxton pointed out.

He said data shows neither were carrying oil. So, supply wasn't what affected the 3 to 4 percent increase in prices Thursday, rather concerns about rising tension near the critical shipping route.

Those worries may only be temporary, but Kentucky eyes will be fixed across the world watching if they’re not.

Those at GasBuddy said they don’t believe the attacks will ultimately increase the price of gas.

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