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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.

Where it stands: The attacks cut production from the kingdom — the world's largest crude oil exporter — by 5.7 million barrels per day.

  • Per the Associated Press's summary of the minister's press conference Tuesday, he said production capacity will be up to 11 million barrels per day by the end of September.
  • Oil prices have fallen by several dollars per barrel today, though they remain above pre-attack levels.
  • Per OilPrice.com, the global benchmark Brent crude dropped by well over 6% Tuesday and is currently trading at $63.22 per barrel. West Texas Intermediate, the main U.S. contract, has also fallen sharply.

The big picture: The aerial strikes have roiled markets and led President Trump to signal that he's considering retaliation against Iran, whom Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has blamed for the attacks.

What they're saying: "The oil market has gone from pricing in the worst-case scenario, in terms of lost Saudi oil supplies, to one of the best case scenarios, considering the scope and scale of the attack,” oil analyst John Kilduff of Again Capital tells The Washington Post.

Go deeper: Fallout from Saudi Arabia strikes is everywhere

Go deeper

Trump grants flurry of last-minute pardons

Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty

President Trump issued 73 pardons and commuted the sentences of 70 individuals early Wednesday, 11 hours from leaving office.

Why it matters: It's a last-minute gift to some of the president's loyalists and an evident use of executive power with only hours left of his presidency. Axios reported in December that Trump planned to grant pardons to "every person who ever talked to me."

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Trump revokes ethics order barring former aides from lobbying

Photo: Spencer Platt via Getty

Shortly after pardoning members of Congress and lobbyists convicted on corruption charges, President Trump revoked an executive order barring former officials from lobbying for five years after leaving his administration.

Why it matters: The order, which was signed eight days after he took office, was an attempt to fulfill his campaign promise to "drain the swamp."

  • But with less than 12 hours left in office, Trump has now removed those limitations on his own aides.

Trump pardons former GOP fundraiser Elliott Broidy

President Trump has pardoned Elliott Broidy, a former top Republican fundraiser who pleaded guilty late last year to conspiring to violate foreign lobbying laws as part of a campaign to sway the administration on behalf of Chinese and Malaysian interests.

Why it matters: Broidy was a deputy finance chair for the Republican National Committee early in Trump’s presidency, and attempted to leverage his influence in the Trump administration on behalf of his clients. The president's decision to pardon Broidy represents one last favor for a prominent political ally.