Thursday, 14 November, 2019

World oil prices rise after Huthi rebels attack Saudi plant

World oil prices rise after Huthi rebels attack Saudi plant World oil prices rise after Huthi rebels attack Saudi plant
Russell Knight | 16 September, 2019, 14:00

He argues that the attack on Saudi Arabia will help world markets finally recognize the repercussions of the unraveling of the Iran nuclear deal, from which President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S.in 2018, imposing harsh sanctions on Iran, including its oil industry.

Earlier Sunday, Trump authorized the use of emergency oil reserves in Texas and other states after Saudi oil processing facilities were attacked, sparking fears of a spike in oil prices when markets reopen Monday.

"There is reason to believe that we know the culprit", adding that the USA was is "locked and loaded" and awaiting information from Saudi Arabia.

The strikes on the Saudi Aramco processing facilities in Abqaiq and Khurais were claimed by Yemen's Houthi-backed rebels.

A USA official said all options, including a military response, were on the table but added that no decisions had been made.

Iran called the U.S. claims "maximum lies" and threatened American forces in the region.

Brent crude surged the most on record after a drone strike on a Saudi Arabian oil facility removed about 5pc of global supplies.

"We call on all nations to publicly and unequivocally condemn Iran's attacks", the top Trump administration official added in a follow-up tweet.

Iraq denied that its territory was used for an attack on the kingdom. Saudi officials said no workers were killed or injured in the attacks.

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A military spokesman for Yemen's Houthi militia, Col. Yahya Saree, said 10 Houthi drones hit the oil facilities, with the attacks being dubbed "Operation Balance of Terror".

The attacks and recriminations are increasing already heightened fears of an escalation in the region after a prominent U.S. senator suggested striking Iranian oil refineries in response to the assault, and Iran warned of the potential of more violence.

"Because of the tension and sensitive situation, our region is like a powder keg", Iranian Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh said.

"When these contacts come too close, when forces come into contact with one another, it is possible a conflict happens because of a misunderstanding".

Actions on any side could break into the open a twilight war that's been raging just below the surface of the wider Gulf in recent months. It also exceeded the loss of Iranian oil output in 1979 during the Islamic Revolution, according to data from the US Department of Energy.

Saudi's energy minister said the attacks had temporarily reduced oil production by 5.7million barrels a day - half the kingdom's output.

Oil-rich Kuwait also said it would increase security around the country's "vital sites" over the attacks.

US gasoline futures jumped 11%, while USA heating oil futures rose about 6.5% at the open. The amount Saudi Arabia is cutting back is equivalent to over 5% of the world's daily production. Iran's foreign ministry rejected his claims as "blind and futile". "There is no evidence the attacks came from Yemen", he said in a tweet. One source familiar with the destruction caused by the drone attacks told Reuters it could take "weeks, not days". Pompeo said Tuesday that Trump was "prepared to meet with no preconditions". "The conditions must be right for this president to take a meeting".

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