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The U.S. is ready to act in response to a drone attack on a Saudi oilfield that slashed the Kingdom’s output and pushed prices higher but is awaiting verification on who the party behind the attack was, President Trump said in a tweet.
Drones hit the Khurais oilfield and the Abqaiq oil processing facility on Saturday, disrupting 5 million bpd in daily processing capacity. According to Aramco, it would be able to deal with the fire at Abqaiq quickly, but some worry about the possibility of a delay in the restart of operations that could affect up to 150 million barrels of oil monthly.
Following the attacks, President Donald Trump tweeted: “Saudi Arabia oil supply was attacked. There is reason to believe that we know the culprit, are locked and loaded depending on verification, but are waiting to hear from the Kingdom as to who they believe was the cause of this attack, and under what terms we would proceed!”
Meanwhile, the Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen claimed responsibility for the attack, saying they had used 10 drones in the attack, the BBC reports. Quoting a military spokesman for the group, the news agency reported the attack was one of the biggest the Houthis had carried out in Saudi Arabia and that they had help from "honourable people inside the kingdom".
The spokesman also said more attacks were on the way, which echoes an earlier report. Following an attack on a pipeline in Saudi Arabia, the Houthis said in May it was the beginning of a major offensive that would target more than 300 locations in both Saudi Arabia and the UAE—the coalition partners fighting the Houthis on behalf of Yemen’s elected president, which the rebels ousted.
Saudi Arabia and Iran are essentially fighting a proxy war in Yemen, where the Saudis lead a military Arab coalition to “restore legitimacy” in the country, while the Houthi movement, which holds the capital Sanaa, is backed by Iran.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.