President Donald Trump said on Monday that the United States does not need oil and gas from the Middle East as prices spike after drone attacks on Saudi sites.
“Because we have done so well with Energy over the last few years (thank you, Mr. President!), we are a net Energy Exporter, & now the Number One Energy Producer in the World,” Trump tweeted.
“We don’t need Middle Eastern Oil & Gas, & in fact have very few tankers there, but will help our Allies,” he added.
Because we have done so well with Energy over the last few years (thank you, Mr. President!), we are a net Energy Exporter, & now the Number One Energy Producer in the World. We don’t need Middle Eastern Oil & Gas, & in fact have very few tankers there, but will help our Allies!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 16, 2019
Earlier, the president approved the use of oil from the strategic petroleum reserve if needed after attacks on Saudi Arabia oil facilities may disrupt global supply and push up prices.
“Based on the attack on Saudi Arabia, which may have an impact on oil prices, I have authorized the release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, if needed, in a to-be-determined amount sufficient to keep the markets well-supplied,” President Trump announced in a tweet on Sunday, Sept. 15.
The president made new instructions after a series of drone attacks on Saudi Arabia’s Abqaiq plant and its Khurais oil field on Saturday, Sept. 14, led to the cut of about 5.7 million barrels of crude oil from the kingdom per day, halving its oil production, according to The Associated Press.
Regarding the reaction of the oil market, AP reported:
Benchmark Brent crude gained nearly 20% in the first moments of trading Monday before settling down to over 8% higher as trading continued. A barrel of Brent traded up $5.33 to $65.55.
That spike represented the biggest percentage value jump in Brent crude since the lead up to the 1991 Gulf War that saw a U.S.-led coalition expel Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein’s forces from Kuwait.
U.S. benchmark West Texas crude was up around 8%. U.S. gasoline and heating oil similarly were up over 8% and 7% respectively before markets opened in New York.
U.S. officials offered satellite images of the damage at the core of the Kingdom’s crucial Abqaiq oil processing plant and key oil field, alleging the pattern of destruction suggested that the attack on Saturday came either from Iraq or Iran—rather than from Yemen, as claimed by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels.
In Vienna, U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry condemned what he called “Iran’s attack on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia” in an address to the International Atomic Energy Agency’s general conference.
“This behavior is unacceptable and they must be held responsible,” Perry said of Iran. “Make no mistake about it, this was a deliberate attack on the global economy and the global energy market.”