US Secretary of Energy accuses Iran of attack on Saudi Arabia, global economy
US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry accused Iran on Monday of being responsible for the attacks that targeted Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities, adding that the market “is resilient and will respond positively.”
He added that Iran's attempt was an “attack on the global economy and energy markets,” and that the US Department of Energy (DOE) stands ready to release oil from its reserves to offset any losses.
The DOE had said on Sunday that it is ready to tap into its Strategic Petroleum Reserves, if necessary, to offset any supply disruptions to oil markets as a result of the attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities.
The reserves “hold 630 million barrels operated and maintained by DOE for exactly this purpose,” the Department said in a statement.
Perry had also directed the energy department’s leadership to coordinate with the International Energy Agency (IEA) on potential available options for global action if needed, the statement said.
Following Saturday’s drone attacks on Saudi Aramco, Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman responded swiftly, pledging to use the Kingdom's oil reserves to offset the disruption of supply for customers.
Meanwhile, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Saturday that it is closely monitoring the situation in Saudi Arabia following the drone attacks on two oil facilities in the Kingdom’s Eastern Province. The energy watchdog noted that “for now, markets are well supplied with ample commercial stocks.”
The latest attacks on the Kingdom’s oil facilities resulted in the halt of an estimated 5.7 million barrels of crude oil supplies, or about 50 percent of Aramco’s production, Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman confirmed on Sunday.
The attacks also caused a halt in associated gas production of about two billion cubic feet per day, he confirmed in a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency.
The Iranian-backed Houthi militia in Yemen claimed the attacks against Saudi Aramco’s facilities on Saturday.
In August, Saudi Arabia produced 9.85 million barrels of oil per day, according to official figures from the US Energy Information Administration.