Iraq denies links to drone attack on Saudi oil plants

RIYADH Foreign ministers of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation take part in a meeting on Sunday where they condemned the drone attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil infrastructure.—AFP

The Department of Energy said Monday it was "closely monitoring" the fallout from drone attacks on the center of Saudi Arabia's oil industry.

Yemen's Iran-aligned Shiite Huthi rebels claimed responsibility for the drone strikes, but Pompeo said "there is no evidence the attacks came from Yemen".

Mousavi said the United States allegations over the pre-dawn strikes on Abqaiq and Khurais in Eastern Province were meant to justify actions against Iran.

And newly appointed Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said part of the drop would be offset by drawing on vast storage facilities created to be tapped into in times of crises.

Saudi oil giant Aramco, the world's biggest energy company, operates Ghawar and Safaniyah, two of its biggest oil fields.

"It is now clear that Saudi and other Gulf oil facilities are vulnerable to this kind of attack, which means that the geopolitical risk premium for oil needs to rise".

"Work is underway to restore production and a progress update will be provided in around 48 hours", Amin Nasser, Aramco's president and chief executive officer, said on in a statement on Sunday.

The Abqaiq facility -- one of the two sites targeted on Saturday -- is the "most vulnerable" among them, the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) said in a report.

A satellite picture from a NASA near real-time imaging system published early on Sunday, more than 24 hours after the attack, showed the huge smoke plume over Abqaiq had dissipated completely.

After the attack, the Saudi oil major halted production of 5.7 million barrels of crude a day, more than half of Saudi Arabia's global daily exports and more than 5% of the world's daily crude oil production.

The US government said it's prepared to dip into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve if necessary to offset any market disruption.

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