Monday, 21 October, 2019

Weapons used in oil field attack 'came from Iran', says Saudi coalition

PM Imran offers full support to Saudi Arabia after attack on oil facilities PM Imran offers full support to Saudi Arabia after attack on oil facilities
Russell Knight | 17 September, 2019, 16:58

Tensions between Tehran and Washington have spiked following a weekend attack on major oil sites in Saudi Arabia that the United States said Iran was responsible for.

Official Spokesperson of the UN Secretary General Stephane Dujarric said in a statement that the Secretary General condemns Saturday's attacks on two Aramco oil plants.

On the bright side, AAA noted the United States has become less dependent on oil imported from Saudi Arabia.

Yemen's Houthi rebels, who are backed by Iran, claimed responsibility for the attack.

Oil prices surged by as much as 19% after the incidents but later came off their peaks.

Tension in the oil-producing Gulf region has dramatically escalated this year after Trump imposed severe United States sanctions on Iran aimed at halting its oil exports altogether. Saudi Arabia churns out at least 10 million barrels per day.

The officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe their views, sought to emphasize the fact that no American personnel or facilities had been targeted in the weekend attacks, suggesting that a direct US military response might not be merited.

"If we yield to their pressure and hold talks with Americans".

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The Saudi-led coalition, which is bogged down in a five-year war in neighbouring Yemen, reiterated the assessment that the Huthis were not behind it, pointing the finger at Iran for providing the arms.

"Amid all the calls for de-escalation, Iran has now launched an unprecedented attack on the world's energy supply".

"Continuing to ratchet up the pressure is in Iran's interests as long as it doesn't lead to war, especially if the attack is de facto tied to Iran but can not or will not be specifically attributed to the Islamic Republic". "US officials said they planned to share more information with the Saudis in the coming days".

For Jim Krane, author of Energy Kingdoms and a research analyst on the Gulf at Rice University, the attacks should serve as a wake-up call for world powers to broker an end to Yemen's civil war. Saudi Arabia will take weeks to return to its full oil production capacity, according to Bloomberg. Oil is also being supplied by some other states and countries.

U.S. President Donald Trump authorized the release of oil from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve, while the International Energy Agency, which helps coordinate industrialized countries' emergency fuel stockpiles, said it was monitoring the situation.

Downplaying any talk of imminent US military action, Vice-President Mike Pence's chief of staff, Marc Short, told reporters at the White House that Trump's "locked and loaded" was "a broad term that talks about the realities that" the U.S.is "safer and more secure domestically from energy independence". WTI (the benchmark in oil pricing) crude oil prices rose 11% to around $60 a barrel, the highest price since May. But because of the sophistication of the missiles used and the direction from which they were launched, the Trump administration and Saudi Arabia have pointed to Houthi ally Iran. Saudi Arabia is China's top oil supplier year to date.

"I think that the price will jump but it will eventually come back down", he said.

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