Sep 17, 2019

Oil prices plunge after report of quick Saudi production return after attacks

A Saudi Aramco production facility near al-Khurj. Photo: Fayez Nureldine/AFP/Getty Images

Crude oil prices fell sharply Tuesday, reversing some of their major increases over recent days, after Reuters reported that Saudi Arabia will quickly restore output lost during attacks on its facilities over the weekend.

Why it matters: The report, if borne out, will ease fears of a prolonged outage from the strikes against a massive processing facility and oil field in OPEC's largest producer and the world's largest crude oil exporter.

  • Where it stands: Reuters says that the kingdom is "close to restoring 70% of the 5.7 million barrels per day (bpd) production lost following the attacks," citing a "top Saudi source." The same source expects full restoration in 2-3 weeks.

By the numbers: The global benchmark Brent crude quickly fell after the report and is now down $4 to $63.65 per barrel, a 6% slide, via OilPrice.com. West Texas Intermediate, the key U.S. contract, similarly slid by several dollars and is back under $60 per barrel.

What's next: Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman is scheduled to give a press conference around 1:15 pm ET.

Go deeper: Fallout from Saudi Arabia strikes is everywhere

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Saudi Arabia says oil output to be restored by month's end

Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman. Photo: -/AFP/Getty Images

Saudi Arabia hopes to fully restore oil output curtailed by Saturday's attacks by the end of September and have already revived 50% of the lost production, the kingdom's energy minister said Tuesday, per multiple reports.

Why it matters: The comments by Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman — and an earlier Reuters report of the rough timeline — are putting downward pressure on oil prices, which had soared in the wake of the attacks against a major processing plant and oilfield.

Go deeperArrowSep 17, 2019

The fading Saudi oil freakout

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Remember the Jurassic era of oil markets in, uh, mid-September, when aerial attacks left the Saudis reeling and talk of big geopolitical risk premium was all the rage? Things look rather different now.

Driving the news: Both Brent and WTI prices have come down a lot since soaring after the attacks that initially knocked 5.7 million barrels per day of Saudi production offline. The chart above captures WTI's moves.

Go deeperArrowSep 26, 2019

U.S. to send troops to Saudi Arabia

Defense Secretary Mark Esper. Photo: Getty Images/Alex Wong

In a press conference Friday evening, U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper announced the Pentagon will deploy U.S. forces to the Middle East in response to last Saturday's attacks against major oil processing and production sites in Saudi Arabia.

Why it matters: Both Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the Saudis have blamed Iran for the attacks, though officials are still investigating. Iranian officials have warned the U.S. they are prepared to respond to any attack from the U.S. or Saudi Arabia, the Washington Post reports.

Go deeperArrowSep 20, 2019