Saudi Arabia says it is not responsible for the high price of oil

Saudi Arabia has said it will “not take any responsibility for any shortfall in world oil supplies” after attacks by Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels affected state production.

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Saudi Arabia on Monday said it would “bear no responsibility” for a global oil shortage after a deadly barrage of attacks by Houthi rebels in Yemen, the world’s largest oil exporter. .

Unusually stern warnings mark a departure from giant oil producers’ generally cautious statements, as Saudi officials are aware that even their smallest remarks could spark oil prices and global markets.

Russia’s war against Ukraine has left the state locked in a deal with OPEC and other oil-producing countries to limit production growth and increase energy prices. In the meantime, Americans have had to pay a record-breaking price for gasoline at the pump.

The state-run Saudi Press Agency quoted the foreign ministry as saying that “the international community must take responsibility for maintaining its power supply” in order to “stand up against the Houthis”.

Repeated Huthi attacks will “affect the state’s productive capacity and its ability to meet its obligations,” the statement added, adding that “the security and stability of power supply in world markets” is under threat.

Benchmark Brent crude traded at 11 112 a barrel on Monday.

On Sunday, Yemeni rebels launched a series of attacks targeting the state’s oil and natural gas production. The Saudi Ministry of Energy says oil production has been temporarily cut due to an attack on the Yanbu Petrochemical Complex on the Red Sea coast.

Drone and missile strikes have set fire to a petroleum distribution tank in the Saudi port city of Jeddah and affected gas production in Yanbu. The overall amount of damage to the installations remains unclear.

The Saudi government has condemned the attack as a threat to the security of oil supplies “in this extremely sensitive situation” on the global energy market.

Sunday’s relentless strike marked one of the most intense Huthi barrages in the state, highlighting Saudi defense weaknesses and recalling the dramatic attack in September 2019 on two key oil installations that cut off half of Saudi Arabia’s total oil production.

The White House has strongly condemned the attack and vowed to support Saudi Arabia’s defense. As of late Sunday, a senior administration official confirmed that the United States had transferred a significant number of Patriot antimile interceptors to help protect Saudi Arabia against drone and missile attacks.

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John Gambler, an Associated Press writer based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, contributed to this report.

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