If you want to do as much damage as possible with little resources, Abkaik is the right place. In the small desert town sixty kilometers from the Persian Gulf is the most important oil factory in Saudi Arabia. More than five percent of the world's oil production comes from this region, especially to the megacities of Asia. And oil is still driving the global economy. Therefore, modern missiles are nearby, the American intelligence also has representatives on the ground.
Abkaik is like a fortress, which is actually considered to be barely ingestible. Unless someone flies combat drones under all radar screens and sets fire to the oil factory. That happened on the weekend - and the consequences of the attack keep the world in suspense. Saudi oil production has plunged by half, and oil prices shot up by as much as 20 percent at the start of the week. Threatens thus an oil crisis like in the seventies, which let the beleagured world economy slip into the recession - and which drives unemployment also in Germany upwards?
Much depends on how it goes on now on the Gulf. Responsibility for the attack has been claimed by the Yemeni Houthis ethnic group. The Houthis are supplied by Iran with technology for missiles, cruise missiles and just drones. With these weapons, they regularly bombard Saudi cities and their infrastructure: desalination plants, homes, oil pipelines. They conquered large parts of northern Yemen and expelled the elected president in a kind of coup. In turn, he is supported by the Saudis, who wage a brutal aerial war, without being able to defeat their opponent.
That makes things economically so explosive: The conflict is essentially a fight for supremacy in the region. The two heavyweights of Iran and Saudi Arabia carry him under him - and he can escalate at any time.
The big crash did not happen for a while. At least at the gas station
However, Western reconnaissance services doubt that the Houthis are actually responsible for the attack. The argument: Abkaik is too far from their territory for a drone attack. There may be other Iranian-backed militias behind it, also operating in the area. Or it was the Iranian Revolutionary Guards themselves who are in position along the coast of the Arabian-Persian Gulf.
The attack on Abkaik is the culmination of a series of attacks on the world's oil supply. In May, combat troops attacked oil tankers in the Emirates. June saw attacks on European and Japanese ships and Saudi oil pipelines. Then the Iranians abducted a British tanker. And then there was this military exercise earlier this year: The Revolutionary Guards played through how they could completely paralyze the oil supply from the Gulf.
If the situation worsens in this direction, the matter becomes dangerous for the German economy as well. As you know, Germany does not have its own oil wells. If local consumers have to spend more money on gasoline or heating oil, then this money will flow almost entirely to other countries. As a result, less is left for the purchase of domestic goods. This is depressing the economy.