A SERIES of drone attacks on the world’s largest oil plant in Saudi Arabia are set to send petrol prices in the UK soaring amid drastic cuts to supply.
But who launched the attacks that experts claim are the “equivalent of 9/11” to the global oil industry, and what happened?
Who launched the drone attacks?
Fires raged at at an oil plant in Abqaiq, Bugayg, and the country’s second largest oilfield in Khurais after Tehran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen fired a flurry of rockets.
Giant plumes of thick black smoke could be seen coming from the oil facility.
A military spokesperson for the Yemeni rebels claimed responsibility for the strike on Saudi Arabia‘s state-owned oil giant, Aramco.
But the US shared what it claims is new evidence, including satellite photos, “proving” Iran is to blame for the attacks.
The photos show what officials said were at least 19 points of impact at two Saudi energy facilities, including damage at the heart of the crucial oil processing plant at Abqaiq.
Officials said the photos show impacts consistent with the attack coming from the direction of Iran or Iraq, rather than from Yemen to the south.
Trump said he is waiting on Riyadh to determine who launched the strikes before proceeding on a course of action.
“Saudi Arabia oil supply was attacked,” he tweeted.
“There is reason to believe that we know the culprit, are locked and loaded depending on verification, but are waiting to hear from the Kingdom as to who they believe was the cause of this attack, and under what terms we would proceed!”
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said there was no evidence the attacks came from Yemen and accused Iran of “an unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply.”
Pompeo urged overnight: “We call on all nations to publicly and unequivocally condemn Iran’s attacks.
“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.”
Attacks on two plants at the heart of the kingdom’s oil industry knocked out more than half of Saudi crude output.
Houthi rebels in neighbouring Yemen yesterday claimed responsibility for the pre-dawn drone strikes.
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The assault follows earlier cross-border attacks on Saudi oil installations and on oil tankers in Gulf waters.
Prices could even spike to as high as $100(£80) per barrel if Saudi Arabia fails to quickly resume oil supply lost after attacks over the weekend, it is claimed.
Andrew Lipow, of consultants Lipow Oil Associates, predicted a 5p rise per litre of petrol and added: “This is a big deal.”
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