Oil output from Saudi Arabia has already risen to more than eight million barrels a day, but the country's Crown Prince says Iran must still be deterred from taking further action
Iran must be deterred from further damaging oil infrastructure in Saudi Arabia through a ‘strong’ response from the international community, according to the latter’s Crown Prince.
In an interview with CBS on 29 September, Mohammed bin Salman claimed global oil markets will suffer from rapidly escalating prices if nothing is done following the attacks on Saudi Aramco’s Abqaiq and Khurais facilities earlier this month.
Yemen’s Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for the attacks, but following close inspection of the drones and missiles used, Saudi officials have pointed the finger at their country’s long-term rival, Iran.
Bin Salman said: “This attack hit the heart of the global energy industry and disrupted 5.5% of the world’s power needs — the needs of the US, China and the whole world.
“This was an act of war — if the world does not take strong and firm action to deter Iran, we will see further escalation that will threaten world interests.
“Oil supplies will be disrupted, and oil prices will jump to unimaginably high numbers that we haven’t seen in our lifetime.
Saudi Arabia oil production recovering faster than expected
Oil output from Saudi Arabia has already risen to more than eight million barrels a day since the drone attacks, which is significantly closer to pre-attack levels of 12 million than experts had anticipated by the end of September.
Insiders revealed the figures to the Financial Times, with heat maps of key fields confirming a surge in production that has helped push global oil prices below $62 a barrel.
The two facilities hit by drone attacks, Abqaiq and Khurais, are still expected to take many months to fully repair, but oil markets look set to calm for the time being after experiencing price hikes of up to 20% last month.
Saudi Aramco CEO Amin Nasser had been confident in the likelihood of this rapid recovery and the resilience of his firm’s operations last week: “These synchronised attacks were timed to create maximum damage to our facilities and operations.
“The rapid response and resilience demonstrated in the face of such adversity shows the company’s preparedness to deal with threats aimed at sabotaging Aramco’s supply of energy to the world.”
“We have a hard-earned reputation for nearly 100% reliability in terms of meeting our international customers’ requirements and we have defended that.
“Not a single shipment to an international customer has been or will be missed or cancelled as a result of these attacks.
“We have proven that we are operationally resilient and have confirmed our reputation as the world’s leading supplier.”