Crude oil prices rose by more than 10 percent at the start of Monday's trading day in Asia due to the attack on two oil plants in Saudi Arabia. The price of Brent oil in Singapore rose by $ 11.73 ($ 10.59) to $ 71.95 per barrel, before falling back to below $ 68.
Bloomberg news agency speaks of the "most serious price disruption ever".
The attack on the oil fields caused about 5 percent of worldwide oil production to come to a halt. An increase in oil prices was therefore already expected.
To mitigate the impact of the oil price attack, US President Donald Trump has announced measures. For example, he has given permission to use oil from the country's strategic reserve, if necessary. That reserve was formed after the oil crisis of 1973.
The oil is stored in four underground depots on the Gulf of Mexico in the states of Texas and Louisiana. "More than enough oil!" Trump said on Twitter.
43Oil installation in Saudi Arabia goes up in flames
Much uncertainty about the attack
Oil installations in Abqaiq and Khurais were probably hit by several drones on Saturday. Abqaiq's oil field in the northeast of the country is home to the world's largest oil refinery. The field in Khurais, between the capital Riyadh and the Persian Gulf, is one of the most important oil fields in the country. Aramco, the world's largest exporter of crude oil, halved its oil production.
The leadership of the Houthi rebels in Yemen announced that they had caused the fires by sending ten attack drones to the oil mills. The Houthis said they did this because the Saudis are involved in the civil war that the rebels have been waging in Yemen for four years. Saudi Arabia leads a coalition of countries that support the Yemeni government.
During that war, tens of thousands of civilian casualties fell and more than 24 million people depend on emergency aid, often in the form of food.
Both Iran and Iraq are mentioned as possible perpetrators
The American foreign minister Mike Pompeo puts the blame on Iran, also without providing proof. "Among all the calls for de-escalation, Iran has launched an unprecedented attack on the world's energy supply," he says on Twitter. He also writes that "Tehran is behind nearly a hundred attacks on Saudi Arabia, while President Rouhani and Minister Zarif act as if they are conducting diplomacy."
Iran rejects the accusations. "Such fruitless and blind accusations are incomprehensible and meaningless," said the Iranian Foreign Ministry. Iraq is also mentioned as a possible perpetrator by Saudi and American government officials. This country also denies involvement.
See also: Drone attacks in Saudi Arabia: this is happening
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