ECCONOMYNEXT – Oil prices have surged Monday after weekend attacks on a Saudi oil facility and President Trum said he was ready to release strategic US stocks to keep down prices.
West Texas Intermediate jumped 10.68 percent to $60.71 and Brent climbed 11.77 percent to $67.31 following the strikes on facilities run by state-owned giant Aramco.
President Donald Trump announced that has authorized the release of oil from US strategic reserves after drone attacks cut Saudi Arabia’s crude production by half.
“Based on the attack on Saudi Arabia, which may have an impact on oil prices, I have authorized the release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, if needed, in a to-be-determined amount,” Trump tweeted.
The attack by Tehran-backed Huthi rebels in neighbouring Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition is bogged down in a five-year war, effectively shut down six percent of the global oil supply.
Brent plunged almost 20 percent at one point on Monday, while WTI sank around 15 percent before paring the gains, AFP news agency said.
Trump said Sunday the US was “locked and loaded” to respond to the attack, while Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said: “The United States will work with our partners and allies to ensure that energy markets remain well supplied and Iran is held accountable for its aggression.”
Iran denies the accusations but the news has revived fears of a conflict in the Middle East.