Recently, the oil prices rose sharply on reports of a drone hit at oil pumping sites in Saudi Arabia. As per to the Saudi state news agency SPA, Khalid Al-Falih—Saudi Energy Minister—said that the incident is an “act of terrorism,” explaining attacks on two oil pumping sites near Riyadh for the realm’s East-West pipeline performed with bomb-laden drones. The Brent crude futures were increased by 1.7% at $71.39 per barrel. The U.S. WTI (West Texas Intermediate) crude futures were up by 1.2%, at $61.86 per barrel. According to SPA, the fire has since been controlled. Al-Falih stated that oil production was not disturbed. Saudi Aramco—state oil firm—stated that its gas and oil supplies to Europe have not been impacted and that no one was injured.
Al-Falih further added, “This act of sabotage and terrorism in addition to latest acts in the Arabian Gulf do not only aim the Kingdom but also the safety of oil supplies and the international economy.” No one has yet been unswervingly blamed of conducting the assault, but a Yemeni Houthi-managed TV channel publicized that it had initiated drone attacks on some Saudi installations. In a statement, Al-Falih said, “These attacks again prove that it is imperative for us to deal with terrorist entities, counting the Houthi militias in Yemen that are supported by Iran.”
Speaking of the oil market, recently, Iran suggested that oil attacks are orchestrated to spark conflict. Iranian officials blamed “hardliners” in the U.S. and elsewhere of conducting an incident that will ratchet up apprehensions with the Islamic Republic, as the supreme leader promised there would be no conflict. The accusation by Mohammad Javad Zarif—Iran’s Foreign Minister—came as tensions in the Gulf continued to amplify as American military forces directed to the region and in the middle of a series of attacks on oil infrastructure.