World oil supplies still ‘fairly substantial’ after Saudi attacks: US official

WASHINGTON: World oil markets can still draw on sizeable reserves despite the weekend’s devastating attack on Saudi Arabian production facilities, US Energy Secretary Rick Perry said Monday.

The attack sent oil prices rocketing higher on Monday, stoking fears that costlier energy could dampen global economic growth and weigh down global equities markets.

“The market … has a fairly substantial amount of oil out there available,“ Perry told CNBC.

Perry also said it was “premature” to discuss drawing on US strategic reserves while damage to Saudi output was still being assessed.

US and Saudi officials have blamed Iran for the attacks but Tehran has dismissed the accusations, suggesting that Washington was seeking a pretext to attack the Islamic republic.

Meanwhile, Saudi authorities are considering whether to delay an IPO for oil giant Aramco after this weekend’s attack on its oil facilities shut down a major chunk of global production, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Huthi rebels backed by Iran, who have been locked in battle with a Saudi-backed coalition for years, claimed responsibility for the attacks on Aramco facilities.

The attack shut down about half of Saudi production, or some five percent of global production, according to Craig Erlam of foreign exchange company Oanda. — AFP

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