US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday blamed Iran fro the drone attack at an oil field in Saudi Arabia which disrupted about the half of the Kingdom’s oil capacity, or 5 per cent of the daily global oil supply.
Taking to Twitter, Pompeo said, “Tehran is behind nearly 100 attacks on Saudi Arabia while (President Hassan) Rouhani and (Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad) Zarif pretend to engage in diplomacy. Amid all the calls for de-escalation, Iran has now launched an unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply.”
Tehran is behind nearly 100 attacks on Saudi Arabia while Rouhani and Zarif pretend to engage in diplomacy. Amid all the calls for de-escalation, Iran has now launched an unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply. There is no evidence the attacks came from Yemen.
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) September 14, 2019
The attack was claimed by the Yemeni Houthi rebels, which Pompeo has denied, saying: “There is no evidence the attacks came from Yemen.”
In another tweet, Pompeo also called for other countries to denounce Iran in retaliation to Saturday’s attack and promised American efforts to help support the energy market.
Earlier on Saturday, fires broke out at two facilities of Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabia’s state-run oil producer after they were reportedly hit by drones.
Saturday’s attack is the latest part of a series of attacks on oil infrastructure, including the sabotage of pumping stations along the East-West pipeline, and attacks on oil tankers off Fujairah and close to the Strait of Hormuz.
“We call on all nations to publicly and unequivocally condemn Iran’s attacks. The US will work with our partners and allies to ensure that energy markets remain well supplied and Iran is held accountable for its aggression,” he added.
Around 20 hours after the incident, the newly-appointed Saudi Minister of Energy, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, was forced to publicly acknowledge that the state energy company Aramco – the world’s largest oil producer – had stopped the production of some 5.7 million barrels of crude, about half of its total output.
The statement added that the attacks also prompted Aramco to halt associated gas production of about 2 billion cubic feet per day used to produce 700,000 barrels of liquid gas, thus reducing the total supply of ethane and natural gas by up to 50 per cent.
Aramco said it was still assessing the damages and would offer more information on their scope over the next 48 hours.
US President Donald Trump himself acknowledged during a telephone conversation with Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman that the attack had affected both the global and the US economy.
Earlier in August, Saudi Aramco’s Shaybah gas plant was reportedly targeted by drones, Yemen’s Houthi rebels had claimed responsibility for the attacks.
In June, two oil tankers were hit in a suspected attack in the Gulf of Oman. The tankers were stuck in the same area where the US accused Iran of using naval mines to sabotage four other oil ships in an attack in May.
India also aims to increase its oil reserves for up to 100 days. Sources said that Saudi Aramco is also willing to provide reserve oil to India. In fact, Aramco, which is soon bringing in a much-awaited IPO, could be keen on projecting its huge investments and strategic partnership with India.