Monday 21 October 2019

Saudis say oil output fully restored after September attacks on two plants

Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman (AP)
Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman (AP)

Vladimir Soldatkin, Dmitry Zhdannikov and Olesya Astakhova

SAUDI Arabia has fully restored oil output after attacks on its facilities last month and is now focused on the listing of state oil giant Saudi Aramco, its energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman (inset below) said yesterday.

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The kingdom's crude oil production capacity is now 11.3 million barrels per day (bpd), the prince said.

He added that the attacks, which halved the crude output of the world's top exporter, were an attempt to ruin Saudi Arabia's reputation as "a reliable, secure and dependable oil supplier".

"We all rose to the challenge," he told a Moscow energy conference.

The September 14 attacks targeted the Abqaiq and the Khurais oil plants, causing a spike in oil prices, fires and damage and shutting down 5.7 million bpd of production, or more than 5pc of global oil supply.

Saudi Arabia has managed to maintain supplies to customers at levels before the attacks by drawing from its huge oil inventories and offering other crude grades from other fields, Saudi officials have said.

"We have stabilised production capacity, we are at 11.3 (million bpd)... We still have the kit and the tools to overcome any future challenges," Prince Abdulaziz said.

One challenge for the kingdom now was the listing of Aramco, a centrepiece of Saudi Arabia's plans to reform its economy and diversify away from oil, he added.

"We want to make sure that it is the most successful IPO," he said, adding that the kingdom is working on diversifying its energy resources and adding both renewables and nuclear power.


Irish Independent

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