Two crucial links to the world’s oil supply were attacked by armed drones on Sept. 14, with Yemen’s Iran-allied Houthi rebels claiming responsibility.
The world’s largest oil refinery, the Saudi Aramco’s Abqaiq refinery, an oil processing facility was targeted along with the Khurais oil field, also operated by Aramco. No casualties have been recorded from the strikes, Aramco Chief Executive Amin Nasser said, reports Reuters.
Oil prices could rise by as much as $10 per barrel after the weekend. Andrew Lipow, President of Lipow Oil Associates, said “This is a big deal. Fearing the worst, I expect that the market will open up $5 to $10 per barrel on Sunday evening. This is 12 to 25 cents per gallon for gasoline,” reports Forbes.
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.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says Iran is responsible for the attacks and wrote on Twitter that there is “no evidence the attacks came from Yemen.” “Amid all the calls for de-escalation, Iran has now launched an unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply,” Pompeo said.
The U.S. has condemned the attacks on the “critical energy infrastructure,” said President Trump as he spoke with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Sept. 14, offering support to “Saudi Arabia’s self-defense.”
“Violent actions against civilian areas and infrastructure vital to the global economy only deepen conflict and mistrust. The United States Government is monitoring the situation and remains committed to ensuring global oil markets are stable and well supplied,” deputy White House press secretary Judd Deere said in a statement.
The U.S. Department of Energy has a strategic oil reserve and is prepared to make it available if needed.