Coordinated strikes on key Saudi Arabian oil facilities, among the world’s largest and most important energy production centers, have disrupted about half of the kingdom’s oil capacity, or 5% of the daily global oil supply.
Yemen’s Houthi rebels on Saturday took responsibility for the attacks, saying 10 drones targeted state-owned Saudi Aramco oil facilities in Abqaiq and Khurais, according to the Houthi-run Al-Masirah news agency.
Yet key questions about the attacks remain unanswered. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pinned the strikes directly on Iran, which backs the Houthi rebels. But he said there was “no evidence the attacks came from Yemen.”
Preliminary indications are that the attacks likely originated from Iraq, a source with knowledge of the incident told CNN. Iran wields significant influence in southern Iraq, which is situated much closer than Yemen to the affected Saudi sites.
“Iran has now launched an unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply,” Pompeo said in a Twitter post.
A spokesperson for Iran’s foreign ministry, Seyyed Abbas Mousavi, rejected the accusation that Tehran was behind the attacks, saying that “blind accusations and inappropriate comments in a diplomatic context are incomprehensible and meaningless.” Iraq denied that its territory was used to launch the attacks.
In a statement on Sunday, Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said that 5.7 million barrels a day of crude oil and gas production have been affected. The latest OPEC figures put total Saudi production at 9.8 million barrels per day.