After its sudden spike following attacks on Saudi oil infrastructure, crude oil benchmarks retreated on the announcement production will return to normal rates by the end of the month.
“Over the past two days we have contained the damage and restored more than half of the production that was down as a result of the terrorist attack,” the new Energy Minister of the Kingdom, Abdulaziz bin Salman, told media as quoted by Reuters.
“Oil supplies will be returned to the market as they were before 3:43 a.m. Saturday,” bin Salman said. He added that by the end of the month, Saudi Arabia’s production capacity will rise to 11 million bpd and further to 12 million bpd by the end of November.
Aramco’s chief executive, Amin Nasser, said at the same press conference that the company had yet to calculate how much the repairs would cost, but that didn’t matter given the company’s size.
After the announcement, Brent crude slid down as fast as it had risen close to $70, for a short while even topping the mark. At the time of writing, the international benchmark was trading at $63.55 a barrel, with West Texas Intermediate at $59.10, after on Monday it went above $62 a barrel.
A Saudi field and a processing facility were attacked on Saturday, which took some 5.7 million bpd off global daily supply. The amount of oil Saudi Arabia exports daily to Asia is about 5 million bpd, according to Wood Mackenzie.
Washington immediately blamed the attacks on Iran, which rejected the accusations. The Saudis themselves have been surprisingly guarded in blame-laying. Even though on Sunday the Iran-affiliated Houthi rebels from Yemen took responsibility for the attacks, Abdulaziz bin Salman said at his Tuesday press conference "we do not know at this moment who caused the attacks on Aramco."
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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