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Kuwait Raises Security Alert Level Of Oil Facilities

Kuwait raised the security alert level at all of its ports, affecting both commercial ports and oil facilities, according to the state-run Kuwait News Agency, quoting a statement from Kuwait's minister of commerce and industry on Friday. 

The decision reflected heightened tensions in the region, particularly over oil infrastructure and seaport facilities, and follows Wednesday's announcement from Kuwait's army that it was raising its readiness levels and carry out military exercises amid current regional tensions. 

Kuwait's move comes after two important oil production facilities in Saudi Arabia were hit by drones and missiles last Saturday, taking offline more than 5 million barrels of oil production per day. 

Both the United States and Saudi Arabia blamed Iran for the attacks, while Tehran denied any involvement in attacks on Aramco oil facilities, accepting the claim of responsibility of Yemen's Iranian-backed Houthi rebels. 

US and Saudi officials have repeatedly dismissed Houthi claims of responsibility in the weekend attacks, pointing the finger at Iran. 

"As of this time, all indications are... that Iran is in some way responsible for the attack on the Saudi refineries," said top Defense Department spokesman Jonathan Hoffman at the Pentagon on Thursday, declining to say whether the U.S. military believes the drone and missile attack was launched from Iranian territory. 

While the United States and Saudi Arabia are considering responses to these attacks, Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zafir threatened "all-out war" in case of strike against his country by either of these two countries. 

According to Saudi Arabia, twenty-five drones and missiles were used in the attack, forcing the kingdom to shut down half of its oil production. Two attacked sites, the Abqaiq and Khurais oil facilities took out 5.7 million barrels per day of crude. 

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The strikes caused concern about global oil supply stability, sending crude prices soaring by double digits. 

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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