Most tankers carrying fuel from the world's biggest refining complex operated by India's Reliance Industries are sailing via the Cape of Good Hope to avoid the Red Sea, according to shipping sources and ship tracking data.

The risk of attacks on vessels by Houthi militants in Yemen has prompted many shipping firms to divert south around Africa despite the Red Sea and Suez Canal being the shortest route between Asia and Europe.

Reliance, in its chartering contracts, is offering tanker owners flexibility to go either way, shipping sources said, but added that most tanker owners are opting for the African route.

At least eight tankers since mid-February have taken the Cape of Good Hope route to supply jet fuel and diesel to Europe, LSEG data showed.

The tankers included Hafina Yangtze, Dimitri, Sabrina Glory, Arisarchos, High Prospertix, Atalantic Gold, Marlin La Plata, and Neutron Sound.

Previously all tankers carrying fuel from Reliance Industries passed through Red Sea.

Reliance did not respond to a Reuters email seeking comment.

Reliance's two refineries at Jamnagar in western Gujarat State can process about 1.4 million barrels of oil per day.

(Reporting by Nidhi Verma; editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Jason Neely)