Published: Tue, September 17, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Energy prices spike after Saudi attack US blames on Iran

Energy prices spike after Saudi attack US blames on Iran

In currencies, the Saudi news pushed the yen up 0.2 percent to 107.8 per dollar while the Canadian dollar rose 0.5 percent in anticipation of higher oil prices.

Oil prices surged to four-month highs on Monday while Wall Street futures fell and safe-haven bets returned after weekend attacks on Saudi Arabia's crude facilities knocked out more than 5 per cent of global oil supply.

Washington has also released new evidence to back up its allegation that Iran was responsible for the assault amid heightened tensions over Tehran's collapsing nuclear deal.

However, Iran denies any involvement and it has responded with fury to the accusation, going as far as to threaten USA bases with missile strikes.

A commander in Iran's paramilitary Revolutionary Guard reiterated its forces could strike United States military bases across the Mideast with its arsenal of ballistic missiles.

Satellite images released by the USA and examined by the Associated Press show around 17 "points of impact" at an oil processing facility in Abqaiq.

'Everybody should know that all American bases and their aircraft carriers in a distance of up to 2,000km (1,250 miles) around Iran are within range of our missiles, ' he added. There are those, like Democratic chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, US Representative Adam Schiff, who are already satisfied that Tehran's less than subtle hand is heavily involved. "'When forces come into contact with one another, a conflict could happen because of a misunderstanding.' He was also quoted as saying that Iran is 'ready for war".

The UAE, concerned about the rising tensions with Iran and Western criticism of the war, has scaled down its military presence in Yemen, leaving Riyadh to try to neutralize the Houthis to prevent Iran from gaining influence along its border.

Houthi rebels in Yemen, who are allied with Iran, have claimed responsibility for the attacks, and said 10 drones had targeted oil installations in Abqaiq and Khurais.

Actions on any side could break into the open a twilight war that has been raging just below the surface of the wider Persian Gulf in recent months.

The machinery behind a military strike on Iran is being put in motion, one that was already being readied with claims of Iranian attacks on maritime shipping in the Persian Gulf and the shooting down of a USA drone.

Hariri said Lebanon stands by Saudi Arabia, adding that the latest "aggression" against the kingdom is part of attacks targeting Gulf Arab states and also undermines regional and worldwide security.

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Earlier Sunday, Trump authorized the use of emergency oil reserves in Texas and other states after Saudi oil processing facilities were attacked, sparking fears of a spike in oil prices when markets reopen Monday.

A barrel is now trading at just over $60, but traders warned this could soar to $100 if Saudi Arabia fails to address the impact on supplies over the next few weeks, meaning motorists would see a much more hefty price rise at forecourts.

In another tweet posted on Saturday, the convinced Pompeo accused Iran of being behind some 100 attacks on Saudi Arabia "while [Hassan] Rouhani and [Iranian Foreign Minister Javad] Zarif pretend to engage in diplomacy".

A separate satellite image released by the European Commission appears to show black char marks at the heart of the oil processing facility in Abqaiq.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi dismissed the US allegation that it was responsible as "pointless".

Separately, Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi's office issued a statement on Sunday denying the drone attack came from there.

The energy minister said Aramco "is now working to recover the lost quantities" of oil and will update the public within two days.

The technology: Houthi rebels in Yemen have used drones for a number of attacks so far this year, including hitting a Saudi missile battery as well as other oil fields.

Iran, meanwhile, kept up its own threats.

He also says: "US & its clients are stuck in Yemen because of illusion that weapon superiority will lead to military victory".

A senior U.S. official told media, including Reuters, that evidence indicated the attacks were launched from west or northwest of the facilities, the direction of Iran.

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