On Saturday, Saudi Oil sites where attacked by drones causing severe damages to a Saudi oil processing facility. Yemen’s Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for the drone attacks that knocked out more than half of Saudi oil output. Which effects more than 5% of the global oil supply. The U.S. alleges that Iran was linked to the drone strikes that occurred on Saturday. A claim that Iran has vehemently deny in reports. 

The drone attacks on Saturday ignited fires on Saudi Aramco Abqaiq facility. The attacks delayed the production of 5.7 million barrels crude oil. Satellite footage from the U.S. shows roughly 17 points of impact targeting key infrastructure of the Abqaiq facility. Other satellite images show black char marks and thick black smoke in the area. 

The Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies in August had identified that region as the plant’s stabilization area. That zone included “storage tanks and processing and compressor trains — which greatly increases the likelihood of a strike successfully disrupting or destroying its operations,” the center wrote at the time.

The Houthi rebels claim responsibility for the drone attacks on Saturday. Houthi Leader Muhammad al-Bukhaiti telling The Associated Press on Sunday it exploited “vulnerabilities” in Saudi air defenses to strike the targets.

The U.S. believes that Iran was behind the drone attacks on Abqaiq processing facility. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo states, “their was no evidence the attack came from Yemen” and that the “assault was the work of Iran.” Secretary Pompeo also remarked about the effect of the attack on the global energy supply, “Amid all the calls for de-escalation, Iran has now launched an unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply.”

The attack of the Abqaiq facility can have impact upon the global crude oil market. Global trading markets were closed over the weekend but, analysts predict a spike in oil prices when markets open on Monday. Analysts believe that crude oil could spike up to $100, if unable to quickly bring back oil production.

Saudi Arabia also known as The Kingdom, is the world’s top oil exporter. The Kingdom ships more than 7 million barrels of oil daily. 

The drone attacks on Saturday only heighten tensions between U.S. and Iran, potentially bring tensions to a tipping point. Tensions have been at a high since the Trump administration stepped away from the Iranian Nuclear Deal and ratcheted up sanctions against Iran. Both nations  must be careful as the navigate this current situation. 

Iran National Guard Brig. Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh warned that both countries must tread softly stating, “Because of the tension and sensitive situation, our region is like a powder keg. When these contacts come too close, when forces come into contact with one another, it is possible a conflict happens because of a misunderstanding.”

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