As Reuters reports, the drone attacks against Saudi Aramco’s sprawling Abqaiq oil terminal has resulted to a traffic congestion, a slight rise in comparison to previous levels, as about a dozen tankers wait to conduct their loading operations at Ras Tanura and Juaymah.
Specifically, the Saudi officials wait to further understand whether the supply disruption has been affected; Yet, they have reported that the loading operations have begun.
Based on AIS tracking data, the product tanker Nave Alderamin was seen next to Ras Tanura’s liquid bulk terminal, whereas four crude tankers remain at the Ju’aymah SPM loading buoys, and an LPG tanker located at the Ju’aymah gas terminal. In the meantime, ten additional oil tankers are at anchor nearby.
Concerning the drone attacks, they took place on Saturday, September 14, against Saudi Arabian oil facilities, some of the most crucial energy production hubs. Yemen’s Houthi rebels reported that they were behind the attacks, adding that 10 drones aimed Saudi Aramco’s oil facilities in Abqaiq and Khurais. However, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iran for the attacks, and mentioned that there was “no evidence the attacks came from Yemen.”
Moreover, according U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft there is no evidence that Yemen was behind the attacks, adding that information imply that Iran may be responsible.
The attack affected almost six million barrels of Saudi output, which equals to 5% of the world’s supply. Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman informed that 5.7 million barrels a day of crude oil and gas production have been impacted. He added that Aramco is now trying to recover the lost quantities of oil.
Following US’s Secretary of State accusations against Iran, an Iranian spokesperson from Iran’s foreign ministry denied the accusation that Tehran was behind the attacks, explaining that “blind accusations and inappropriate comments in a diplomatic context are incomprehensible and meaningless.”
Overall, analysts noted that although Saudi Aramco holds 60 days’ worth oil storage reserves at domestic and overseas facilities, the company will be able to reach each obligations in the future, despite the attack.
Concluding, the price of Brent futures increased by 20% on September 16, but later the same day the price eased to a 12% increase.