Saudi Says Unclear When Oil Output Will Return to Normal
By Staff, Agencies
An informed Saudi source says the damages inflicted on the Aramco oil facilities in the recent Yemeni drone attacks are so massive that it is not clear when the country's oil output can return to normal.
Attacks by 10 Yemeni drones on Saudi Arabia’s key oil facilities in Abqaiq and Khurais have shut down about 50 percent of the kingdom’s crude and gas production, cutting the state oil giant’s crude oil supply by around 5.7 million barrels per day.
An oil industry source briefed on the developments said on Sunday it is unclear how long the oil production shutdown will continue, as it is impossible to fix the "big" damages overnight.
Aramco has given no timeline for output resumption. However, a source close to the matter told Reuters the return to full oil capacity could take "weeks, not days".
Another source briefed on the developments said the kingdom's oil exports would continue to run as normal this week thanks to large storage in the country.
High-resolution satellite photos of the damaged facilities "declassified" by the US administration on Sunday show the drone attacks have hit at least 19 points with great precision.
A senior US official, asked not to be named, has claimed that evidence shows the launch area was west-northwest of the targets – the direction of Iran and Iraq – not south from Yemen.
The official has also quoted Saudi officials as saying that there are signs that cruise missiles were used in the attack.
This comes as Yemen has clearly stated it used 10 drones for Saturday’s operation, which was one of their largest retaliatory attacks ever inside the kingdom.