Donald Trump has warned Iran that the United States has evidence that shows that Iran is behind the attacks that reduced the world’s oil production by almost 6%, causing global oil prices to rise by nearly 20%.
This rise was caused by the bombing of two massive Saudi energy plants, which according to Mr Trump, was coordinated by Iran.
Several analysts have stated that motorists will most likely feel the effects of this energy plant bombing in the coming days, with fuel prices being set to rise. Analysts also added that California will be hit by the biggest surge in oil prices, with this state relying the most on Saudi oil imports out of all of the United States.
Brent crude futures increased by a staggering 19.5% with trading opening in New York on Sunday evening, with it reaching a session high of $71.95 (€64.93) a barrel. This is the highest level reached since May, whilst also being the largest increase in 28 years.
Afterwards, these futures settled to a 13% increase at $68.06 (€61.42) for every barrel.
Several drones bombed the Abqaiq facility in Saudi Arabia as well as the Khurais oil field, with these being owned by the state-owned Saudi Aramco, during the early hours of Saturday, according to a statement released by the kingdom’s interior ministry.
These plants are crucial to the world’s oil production, producing almost 6% of the world’s oil, as well as producing half of Saudi Arabia’s oil. This attack impacted the total level oil production greatly, reducing the output by 5.7 million barrels a day.
Whilst Saudi Arabia has stated that it plans to fill in the production gap with its reserves that it has stocked up, Aramco has said that the damage could take several weeks to repair and make up.
On Sunday, Donald Trump stated that if needed, the oil from the United States’ emergency fuel storage of 640 million barrels, which is stored in Louisiana and Texas, will be released for use.
These bombings have continued to increase the tensions in the region, as the United States have claimed that Iran was responsible for the attack, almost immediately being claimed by Houthi rebels from Yemen, which have been backed by Iran in the past.
President Trump said that the United States had acquired fresh evidence to support the Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo’s allegation that Iran was responsible, which was made the day before Mr Trump spoke to the public on the matter.
Mr Trump posted on Twitter that the United States is “locked and loaded”, depending on verification from the Saudis about who they believed was the attacker of the plants.
Trump also expressed his frustration towards Iran, saying that he is unwilling “to meet with Iran”.
The evidence that was provided included satellite imagery and other intelligence shown by Senior US officials, showing how the strikes launched were very inconsistent with one that was launched from Yemen, the place where the Houthis are based.
The officials added that there were at least 19 points of impact at the two Saudi oil plants which were consistent with being launched from Iran or Iraq, and not with Yemen which is to the south of Saudi Arabia.
Iran were quick to respond to the claims made by the United States, saying that these are “maximum lies”, whilst a commander in Iran’s parliamentary Revolutionary Guard warned that its forces could strike the military base in the Middle east which is held by the US, by using their own ballistic missiles.
This attack adds to a growing number of incidents which have increased tensions over the last few months, with several oil tankers being hit in the past, as well as a US military surveillance drone being shot down by Iran.