Saudis race to restore oil output after Aramco attacks

Andrew Cummings
September 16, 2019

"No matter whether it takes Saudi Arabia five days or a lot longer to get oil back into production, there is but one rational takeaway from this weekend's drone attacks on the Kingdom's infrastructure - that infrastructure is highly vulnerable to attack, and the market has been persistently mispricing oil", Citigroup Inc.'s Ed Morse wrote in a research note.

There would be worries that the global oil supply is more insecure and that more attacks may be coming.

Smoke fills the sky at the Abqaiq oil processing facility on Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019 in Saudi Arabia.

Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shi'ite-led Iran back opposing factions across the Middle East, from Yemen and Syria to Lebanon and Iraq. The U.S. provides military support to the alliance, despite bipartisan efforts by Congress - which have been blocked by Trump - to cut off the assistance.

Sarea said Saudi Arabia should stop its "aggression and blockade on Yemen".

U.S. secretary of state Mike Pompeo blamed Iran for the strike - an allegation dismissed as "maximum lies" by Iran.

The US government produced satellite photos showing what officials said were at least 19 points of impact at two Saudi energy facilities, including damage at the heart of the kingdom's crucial oil processing plant at Abqaiq. And in a world already concerned about supply, the impact of another attack could mean a sharp effect on prices, said Kevin Book, managing director of Clearview Energy Partners.

Iran has denied responsibility for the attack, accusing Pompeo of "max deceit", as the country's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted Saturday. "U.S. & its clients are stuck in Yemen because of illusion that weapon superiority will lead to military victory", Zarif wrote.

"The Americans adopted the "maximum pressure" policy against Iran, which, due to its failure, is leaning toward 'maximum lies, '" Mousavi said in a statement. "Accepting our April '15 proposal to end war & begin talks may".

"Unfortunately, it's impossible to take anything from this administration at face value. Even Pompeo's comments seem aimed at obscuring whether there is evidence of Iranian involvement", Abdi told Newsweek. "From someone who has tried to falsely tie Iran to 9/11 in order to justify potential war, anything Pompeo says about the Iranian bogeyman is suspect".

The US officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters, did not address whether the drone could have been fired from Yemen, then taken a round-about path, but did not explicitly rule it out.

Iran is dismissing USA accusations that it was responsible.

The senior official told ABC News the president is fully aware that Iran is responsible, but he wants the Saudis to acknowledge it if they want US help.

That agreement aimed to curb Iran's nuclear capabilities in exchange for worldwide sanctions relief and investment. While consistent reports by the United Nations nuclear watchdog found that Iran remained in compliance with the treaty's terms, Trump chose to leave the agreement, believing it was a bad deal for the U.S.

Other reports by iNewsToday