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Friday, December 02, 2022

Saudi oil chief says energy security threatened by attacks

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates ( Associated Press) – Saudi Arabia’s oil chief said markets were going through a “shaky period” and reiterated on Tuesday that the kingdom’s ability to ensure energy security was no longer guaranteed.

Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said cross-border attacks had questioned “our ability to supply the world with the necessary energy needs”. The attacks were carried out by Yemen’s rebel Houthis, who are backed by Iran.

“In the old days, we worked with our friends here in the UAE on a collective effort to ensure and ensure energy security. These pillars are no longer there, “the minister said.

The Saudi Minister of Energy spoke at the World Government Summit, an event sponsored by the Government of Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Oil prices, already at their highest in years, have soared further amid attacks by the Houthis on Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s largest oil producer. Brent crude oil prices traded above $ 110 a barrel, but sometimes rose above $ 120.

The Houthis used drones and missiles to target the kingdom’s oil facilities, and also attacked targets in the United Arab Emirates’ capital Abu Dhabi..

They hit a Saudi oil products storage facility in the Red Sea coastal city of Jiddah on Friday, sending large black plumes of smoke into the air. which was visible from the vicinity of the Formula One race where practice rounds were in progress.

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Saudi Arabia has expressed its frustrations in official statements, saying it will not bear any responsibility for shortages of oil supplies due to the attacks.

Crude oil prices were also backed by an agreement reached by leading producers, led by Saudi Arabia and Russia, in an alliance known as OPEC +, which restricted oil production to prevent prices from collapsing amid pandemic restrictions in 2020 . The group is sticking to its cautious plan to release more barrels on a monthly basis as COVID-19 eases restrictions, but critics of the plan say the Russian war in Ukraine is upsetting markets and energy prices for consumers to rise at the pump.

UAE Energy Minister Suhail al-Mazrouei doubles OPEC + alliance Monday in comments at an energy forum in Dubai. He and the Saudi energy minister reiterated on Tuesday the importance of Russia’s 10 million barrels a day in crude production, saying it accounts for about 10% of global energy demand and insists that politics – with reference after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – must be separated from energy policy.

The war in Yemen – where a Saudi-led military coalition, including the UAE, has been fighting the Houthis since 2015 – has raged these two Arab Gulf states, revealing the vulnerability of their oil facilities.

The largest attack claimed by the Houthis took place at the end of 2019 against a vast Saudi-Aramco site in the kingdom’s eastern region, which temporarily eliminated production. at the world’s largest oil processing plant in Abqaiq.

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Despite US condemnation of the Houthis and US-provided anti-missile systems for Saudi Arabia, relations between the Biden administration and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the kingdom’s illegitimate ruler, remain strained. There has been no direct call between the two since the US president took office, although President Joe Biden has spoken to the prince’s father, King Salman.

As the White House draws closer to a nuclear deal with Iran, the Biden administration has sought to reassure traditional Middle East allies. from his commitment to their safety. Israel and several Arab Gulf states are still strongly opposed to any efforts that would lift sanctions against Iran.

“We have developed and delivered our side of the story,” Prince Abdulaziz said, referring to the kingdom’s position on the link between its national security and global energy market stability.

“People, others, must deliver their own side of the commitment,” he added. “Otherwise, the pillar of energy security will be disrupted, to say the least.”

This year, the World Government Summit will be held on the premises of Dubai Expo 2020the six-month-old world show that ends later this week.

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