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Saudis Race to Restore Oil Output After Crippling Aramco Attack

CommoditiesSep 15, 2019 04:30AM ET
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© Reuters. Saudis Race to Restore Oil Output After Crippling Aramco Attack

(Bloomberg) -- Saudi Arabia is racing to restore oil production after a brazen drone strike on a key Aramco facility slashed its output by half, or about 5% of world supply, an assault that the U.S. has blamed on Iran.

State energy producer Saudi Aramco lost about 5.7 million barrels per day of output after 10 unmanned aerial vehicles on Saturday struck the world’s biggest crude-processing facility in Abqaiq and the kingdom’s second-biggest oil field in Khurais, the company said.

The attack will likely rattle oil markets and cast a shadow on Aramco’s preparations for what could be the world’s biggest stake sale. It’s also set to escalate a showdown pitting Saudi Arabia and the U.S. against Iran, which backs proxy groups from Yemen to Iran and Lebanon.

The disruption is “quite significant,” Mele Kyari, chief executive officer of state producer Nigerian National Petroleum Corp., told Bloomberg Television on Sunday. “If it’s protracted it could be a big challenge for the oil markets.”

The attack is the biggest on Saudi Arabia’s oil infrastructure since Iraq’s Saddam Hussein fired Scud missiles into the kingdom during the first Gulf War. The damage highlights the vulnerability of the Saudi industry that supplies 10% of the world’s crude oil. The kingdon’s benchmark stock index tumbled as much as 3.1% on Sunday in Riyadh.

Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen claimed responsibility for the attacks, but U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo blamed Iran directly without offering evidence for that conclusion. Iran’s Foreign Ministry described Pompeo’s remarks as “blind and fruitless accusations.”

The Houthis, who are fighting Saudi-backed forces in Yemen, have claimed responsibility for most of the strikes against Aramco installations.

Aramco Repairs

“Work is underway to restore production and a progress update will be provided in around 48 hours,” said Amin Nasser, Aramco’s president and chief executive officer. Aramco is working to compensate clients for some of the shortfall from its reserves.

Saudi Aramco, which pumped about 9.8 million barrels a day in August, will be able to keep customers supplied for several weeks by drawing on a global storage network.

The Saudis hold millions of barrels in tanks in the kingdom itself, plus three strategic locations around the world: Rotterdam in the Netherlands, Okinawa in Japan, and Sidi Kerir on the Mediterranean coast of Egypt.

U.S. Reserves

The U.S. Department of Energy said it’s prepared to dip into the Strategic Petroleum Oil Reserves if necessary to offset any market disruption.

Saudi Arabia, the biggest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, has been leading the group in production cuts to mop up a surplus of crude in the market. So when half of Saudi Arabia’s production is knocked out, the question is how long the disruption lasts.

“The global economy can ill afford higher oil prices at a time of economic slowdown,” Ole Hansen, head of commodities strategy at Saxo Bank A/S in Copenhagen, said in an emailed response to questions. So while a surge in prices driven by lower supply “may temporarily remove the focus on slowing demand, it could, if prolonged, potentially reduce demand growth expectations even more.”

Saudis Race to Restore Oil Output After Crippling Aramco Attack
 

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AMY gupta
Rambo1 Sep 15, 2019 3:13PM ET
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Heavy buying on crude futures to night expect 60-69 Dollar crude, Expect attack on Iran sites soon oil in two days
erik maguina
erik maguina Sep 15, 2019 3:13PM ET
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u got any info to support this btw?
Digambar Jadhav
Digambar Jadhav Sep 15, 2019 6:02AM ET
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Sure will be gap up opening
MuraliKrishna Brahmandam
MuraliKrishna Brahmandam Sep 15, 2019 5:42AM ET
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on Friday close, many traders jumped out of crude. so only 6 to 10 dollars higher
Will Chuang
Will Chuang Sep 15, 2019 5:26AM ET
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simple economics. demand he's not changed since last week but there's a decrease in supply from last week.shift left in supply curve
Sandeep Goyal
Sandeep Goyal Sep 15, 2019 5:15AM ET
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crude up or down ?pls tell own view
Will Chuang
Will Chuang Sep 15, 2019 5:15AM ET
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*has not
titirisca aurelian
titirisca aurelian Sep 15, 2019 5:02AM ET
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what about tha X million tons from Iran that are in the china sea?the oil price was not efected then...why it should be now? there is no shortage of oil...just wales that push the market up or down
Abdulla Aljawi
Abdulla Aljawi Sep 15, 2019 4:55AM ET
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Does this mean mean that Gold prices might go up?
moniker
moniker Sep 15, 2019 4:55AM ET
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No, it means that the greenback will go up.
AMY gupta
Rambo1 Sep 15, 2019 4:55AM ET
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yes, gold will rise also, Crude oil may try $100 since it is not easy to fix Aramco, IPO date bee extended. It is all mesh .
TA XVCI
TA XVCI Sep 15, 2019 4:45AM ET
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Especially in a time of slowdown.
Cosmos Eliakim
Cosmos Eliakim Sep 15, 2019 4:43AM ET
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I believe this could be a rise for gold...
Mohammad Abdullah
Mohammad Abdullah Sep 15, 2019 4:43AM ET
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100% agree with you.
Nitin Parasuram
Nitin Parasuram Sep 15, 2019 4:42AM ET
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Oil markets which are very sensitive to geopolitical issues will price in the risk premium. Even if Saudi restores it will take some time for oil markets to come back to today's levels.. Growth is down but stimulus package will restore the oil. Let's see sunday eve. Leave it to traders who decide the price who we are to do tht. We are just small piece of stone m middle of big rocks.. Like traders professional
RAYMOND Mahlaole
RAYMOND Mahlaole Sep 15, 2019 4:35AM ET
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where will gold go?
 
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