Published: Fri, September 20, 2019
Markets | By Otis Pena

Does not need Middle East oil, but cargoes keep coming

Does not need Middle East oil, but cargoes keep coming

The government will consider the coordinated release of oil reserves and other measures if needed to ensure sufficient supplies after the attack on Saudi oil facilities, industry minister Isshu Sugawara said earlier Tuesday.

Yesterday, Saudi Arabia said preliminary findings showed that Iranian weapons were used in the attacks but stopped short of directly blaming the Iranian Islamic Republic.

Jean-Yves Le Drian has told reporters in Cairo on Tuesday that: "Up to now, France does not have proof that would allow us to say where the drones came from". At the end of Monday trading day, Oil prices ended almost 15% higher - the biggest pump in almost 30 years, the BBC stated.

The Energy Department had already said in a statement that the United States "stands ready" to take such measures in reply to what happened in Saudi Arabia.

The Wall Street Journal reported that USA officials had said intelligence indicated Iran was the "staging ground" for the attack and had shared the information with Riyadh. Iran has denied any involvement in the attack.

Trump was careful to not pin responsibility for the attack on the Saudi oil facilities on Iran; chief White House correspondent John Roberts reports.

Economist Cameron Bagrie discussed the economic implications of the drone strikes to a Saudi Arabia oil refinery.

The attacks on Saudi Aramco's crude-processing facilities at Abqaiq and Khurais cut its output by 5.7 million barrels a day and threw into question its ability to maintain oil exports.

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"Trump also insisted that he does not want war with Iran, but he noted the United States has the best weapons systems, namely fighter jets and missiles".

Iranian state TV quoted Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who's been personally sanctioned by the Trump administration, as saying this is the position of the entire leadership of the country and that "all officials in the Islamic Republic unanimously believe" this.

"The market's reaction to Saudi Arabia's importance, in the new era of US shale, will now be put to the test", said Bjørnar Tonhaugen, the head of oil markets at Rystad Energy. "As to whether or not we go that way, we'll see", he said.

"I don't want war with anybody".

Iran-aligned Houthi rebels based in Yemen has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

One U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations, said the U.S. was considering dispatching additional military resources to the Gulf but that no decisions had been made.

Production could be fully online within two to three weeks and the kingdom was close to restoring 70% of the 5.7 million barrels a day lost after the attacks, a top Saudi source briefed on the latest developments told Reuters.

He also said he was "not looking to get into new conflict, but sometimes you have to".

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