No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, the details of which are unclear, but suspicion has fallen on Iran.

An oil tanker associated with an Israeli billionaire has been struck by a bomb-carrying drone off the coast of Oman, an official has told.

The attack happened on Tuesday night off the coast of Oman, the Middle East-based defence official said. The official spoke on Wednesday on condition of anonymity as they did not have authorisation to discuss the attack publicly.

The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations, a British military organisation in the region monitoring shipping, told the AP: “We are aware of an incident and it’s being investigated at this time.”

The official identified the vessel attacked as the Liberian-flagged oil tanker Pacific Zircon. That tanker is operated by Singapore-based Eastern Pacific Shipping, which is a company ultimately owned by Israeli billionaire Idan Ofer.

In a statement, Eastern Pacific Shipping said

Eastern Pacific Shipping Pte. Ltd. (EPS) is investigating an incident involving our managed product tanker Pacific Zircon (IMO: 9539573).

Preliminary reports indicate the vessel, carrying a cargo of gas oil, was hit by a projectile approximately 150 miles off the coast of Oman at about 15:30 (UTC+4) on 15 November 2022.

We are in communication with the vessel and there is no reports of injuries or pollution. All crew are safe and accounted for.

There is some minor damage to the vessel’s hull but no spillage of cargo or water ingress.

Our priorities are to ensure the continuing safety of the crew and vessel.

Iranian state media did not immediately acknowledge the attack on the Pacific Zircon. It was not immediately clear where the vessel was on Wednesday. Satellite-tracking data from late Tuesday provided by MarineTraffic.com put the vessel deep in the Arabian Sea after leaving the Omani port of Sohar.