Saudi Oil Chief Says Energy Security Imperiled by Attacks

Photo credit: Reuters

Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said that the markets are going through a “jittery period” and that the country’s ability to ensure energy security is no longer guaranteed. 

The oil chief said that attacks by the Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen have put into question the Kingdom’s ability to supply the world with its necessary energy requirements. If security supply is impacted, he said, it will have further impacts that affect the world economy. 

Prince Abdulaziz made the remarks at the World Government Summit which took place in Dubai at an event sponsored by the UAE government.  

Houthis have been using drones and missiles to target oil facilities on Saudi Arabian land, and have also targeted and attacked Abu Dhabi in the UAE. 

On Friday, the Houthis hit an oil products storage facility in Saudi Arabia in Jiddah, causing enormous plumes of black smoke to soar into the air, so large that they were visible from the vicinity of the Formula One racetrack, on which drivers were doing rounds of practice laps. 

Oil prices are already at an all-time high but shot up even further amid the Houthi attacks across the border on Saudi Arabia. The Kingdom is OPEC’s largest oil producer. Crude oil prices have been altered due to a deal struck by leading producers, led by Saudi Arabia and Russia, in the alliance known as OPEC+, which limited oil production in order to prevent prices from crashing during the Covid lockdowns. 

Earlier this month, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson traveled to Saudi Arabia to ask in person that Gulf Arab producers pump more oil. In a statement, UAE energy minister Suhail al-Mazrouei said that what they are looking for is for Western countries not to tell them “do this and do that,” and how they are experts in their own field. 

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