Assessments

Attacks Deal a Blow to Saudi Aramco's Prospects

Sep 16, 2019 | 22:19 GMT
This photo shows a Saudi Aramco facility just outside Riyadh.

A picture taken on Sept. 15, 2019, shows an Aramco oil facility at the edge of the Saudi capital Riyadh. Saudi Arabia raced today to restart operations at oil plants hit by attacks that slashed its production.

(FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP/Getty Images)

One of Saudi Arabia's greatest nightmares became a reality on Sept. 14 after an attack forced the Saudi Arabian Oil Co. (Saudi Aramco), to take its single most important piece of oil and natural gas infrastructure -- the Abqaiq oil and gas processing complex -- offline, along with 5.7 million barrels per day of crude oil production. Saudi officials have sought to reassure oil and natural gas markets that they can restore some production, but after an initial suggestion that all production could soon come back online, Riyadh announced on Sept. 16 that the damage could take weeks or even months to repair. The impact on global oil markets will be significant, but manageable. After an initial spike of nearly 20 percent on Sept. 16, the price of global benchmark Brent crude has settled to around $69 per barrel, up about 10 percent but still far below the $80 mark that oil prices...

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