A satellite image shows an apparent drone strike on an Aramco oil facility in Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia September 14, 2019. | Image: Planet Labs Inc/Handout via REUTERS
Oil prices skyrocketed in early futures trading on Monday, as Saudi Arabia rushed to restore lost output following a weekend attack on the kingdom’s production fields.
The attack, which was claimed by Yemen’s Houthi rebels, is considered a game-changer in Saudi Arabia’s multi-year effort to rein in its opponents to the south. It also brings Iran in direct line of fire after the United States blamed Tehran for the attack.
Both the U.S. and global crude energy benchmarks surged double digits on Monday. The West Texas Intermediate (WTI) benchmark for U.S. crude spiked by as much as 15%, reaching $63.34 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. At the time of writing, WTI was up $5.73, or 10.5%, at $60.61 a barrel.
Brent crude, the international futures benchmark, came within 5 cents of $72.00, having gained as much as 19.5%.
Saudi Arabia is rushing to bring millions of barrels of crude back online after drone attacks from Yemen’s Houthi rebels devastated its production fields. One of the main targets of the attack was a major processing plant in Abqaiq.
The strike has wiped out 5.7 million barrels of daily production from the energy-rich kingdom. It has vowed to restore output as quickly as possible.