Washington, Sep 16: US President Donald Trump said that he has authorised the release of oil from the emergency storage, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), if it is required to stabilise the market after attacks on major Saudi Arabian oil production facilities.
'Based on the attack on Saudi Arabia, which may have an impact on oil prices, I have authorized the release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, if needed, in a to-be-determined amount sufficient to keep the markets well-supplied," Trump tweeted on Sunday.
"I have also informed all appropriate agencies to expedite approvals of the oil pipelines currently in the permitting process in Texas and various other States,' the president added. The move came after drone attacks on Saudi Arabian oil production facilities on Saturday which have raised global concerns over oil supplies.
Saudi Arabia, which accounts for about 10 per cent of the total global oil supply, said it was working on restoring full output. According to media reports, repair work could take weeks. Meanwhile, the kingdom, which is the world’s largest oil exporter, is relying on its storage to maintain regular exports. Brent and West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude prices have jumped by over 10 percent in the wake of the Saudi Aramco attacks. Saudi Arabian Energy Minister Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud had also announced on Sunday that the drone attacks caused temporary suspension of production at targeted oil plants.
According to Aramco, after Saturday's attacks, Saudi Arabia saw production cut by 5.7 million barrels, or about 50 percent of the company's daily production. Earlier, the drone attacks were reported at dawn of Saturday with several explosions on Saudi Aramco plants in Khurais and Abqaiq in the east of the country, resulting in fires that were later controlled.
The Houthi rebel movement in Yemen had claimed responsibility for the drone attacks. However, US State Secretary Mike Pompeo accused Iran of being behind them, but Tehran had refuted the allegations. Trump wrote on Twitter that Washington was almost certain that it had identified the culprit behind the attacks and the US now stands "locked and loaded" to respond, albeit after it receives a relevant response and all the necessary information on the matter from Riyadh. UNI