09/16/2019, 17.27
SAUDI ARABIA - MIDDLE EAST
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Soaring in oil prices after the attack on Saudi refineries

Global production dropped by over 5%. The Brent price touches $ 67.77 (+ 11%) after breaking the threshold of 70 and WTI futures have reached $ 59.75 (+ 8.9%). The attack with the drones claimed by the Houthi rebels in Yemen. Washington accuses Iran, which denies involvement. Fears from supply experts for the coming weeks.

 

 

Riyadh (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The price of oil is soaring in these hours, linked to two drone attacks on the oil company Aramco in Saudi Arabia over the weekend. Global crude oil production fell by over 5%; at the same time, on the Asian markets the Brent price rose to $ 67.77 (+ 11%) after breaking the threshold of 70 and Light crude WTI futures reached $ 59.75 (+ 8.9%) .

The race to increase has slowed - albeit slightly - following the announcement by US president Donald Trump, who authorized the use of the country's strategic oil resources. On Twitter, the White House tenant explained that he had given the green light "if necessary, in an amount to be defined, but sufficient to keep the markets well supplied". He then informed the relevant agencies of "speeding up the approvals of pipelines currently awaiting authorization in Texas and other states".

Riyadh, which has recieved signs of solidarity and support from the Gulf nations, is the world's leading exporter of oil and guarantees over seven million barrels a day. According to official figures released in June, the reserves of the Wahhabi kingdom amounted to 188 million barrels. The attack with drones has hit the country's crude oil production, hitting two of the most important plants.

The state-owned company Aramco reports that the losses in production terms are around 5.7 million barrels per day. It could even take weeks to restore production and return to full capacity. Abhishek Kumar, chief analyst at Interfax Energy in London, points out that damage to the Abqaiq and Khurais plants "appears extensive and could take many weeks" before supplies are normalized.

Jeffrey Halley, a scholar of oil markets, says the spike in prices is a reaction "to the political and geopolitical implications" of the attacks. The reference is what happened on September 14, when two Saudi plants were hit by drones. "The big question - adds Halley - is that Saudi infrastructures are safe".

The attack on the structures, carried out with drones, has been claimed by Yemen's Houti rebels, supported by Iran, for years fighting against the government troops who are instead supported by Riyadh. In the last period the assaults and operations targeted by the Yemeni territory across the border, in Saudi Arabia, have intensified.

However, the United States claims that a Houthi attack is not credible and Tehran's hand is behind the escalation. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo points the finger at the Islamic Republic, but provides no supporting evidence. President Trump also spoke on the issue, stating that the United States knows who the culprit is and they are "ready and loaded" to react, but they are waiting for indications from Saudi Arabia that has so far filtered little information and prefers maintain a general reserve.

At this time there is also the response of Iran, which flatly rejects all charges and speaks of US "deception" and unfounded accusations. Foreign Minister Javad Zarif says that "accusing Iran will not put an end to the disaster" in Yemen. Before leaving for Turkey for the trilateral talks with Vladimir Putin and Recep Erdogan on Syria, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani emphasized that tensions in the region must be resolved by the countries of the area through negotiation and necessary compromises.

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