President Trump has said America is “locked and loaded depending on verification,” against the attackers who targeted the world’s largest oil refinery, the Saudi Aramco’s Abqaiq refinery. The oil processing facility was targeted along with the Khurais oil field by armed drones on Sept. 14. Yemen’s Iran-allied Houthi rebels have claimed responsibility for the attacks, which saw the world’s oil prices surge by more than 15 percent on Sept. 16. However, US investigators are claiming Iran is responsible.

Thick black smoke rising from Saudi Aramco’s Abqaiq oil processing facility in Buqyaq, Saudi Arabia. Drone attacks on the world’s largest oil processing facility in Saudi Arabia and a major oil field Saturday, sparked huge fires and halted about half of the supplies from the world’s largest exporter of oil, on Sept. 14, 2019. (Planet Labs Inc via AP)

The president hasn’t confirmed who is responsible yet, and has tweeted, “Saudi Arabia oil supply was attacked. There is reason to believe that we know the culprit, are locked and loaded depending on verification, but are waiting to hear from the Kingdom as to who they believe was the cause of this attack, and under what terms we would proceed!”

“This president and his national security team, Secretary (of State Mike) Pompeo – our nation’s chief diplomat – keep many options on the table, particularly when it comes to retaliating against malign behavior, and protecting American interests and Americans and our American economy,” said Kellyanne Conway, counselor to President Trump, on “Fox News Sunday.”

The president has authorized the release of emergency oil supplies from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, “in a to-be-determined amount sufficient to keep the markets well-supplied.” He continued, “I have also informed all appropriate agencies to expedite approvals of the oil pipelines currently in the permitting process in Texas and various other States.”

The reserve crude oil was created in the mid-1970,s after the Arab oil embargo caused petrol prices to rise, and the reserve has only been accessed three times.

According to Reuters, state-run Aramco said the attack on Sept. 14 has impacted the production of 5.7 million barrels of oil per day—half of Saudi Arabia’s present output. The attack is likely to send oil prices sky-high, as Saudi has been producing and sending 7 million barrels of oil to its worldwide markets daily.

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