The recent attack on Saudi’s oil installation, was incredible with 5.7 million barrels of oil per day shut-in, roughly half of their oil production. For comparison the US produces about 12 million barrels per day. So, economically, Saudi Arabia is losing 300 million dollars per day. However, the New York Times reported that analysts who closely follow the Saudi oil industry, were hearing the damage to the facilities was not severe resulting in only a few day’s outage, This sounds like some of the shutdown was really just a precaution. The oil analysts are predicting a rise in oil prices when trading begins Sunday (September 15) night, likely to change quickly as engineers assess the damage. Spot oil prices in the next week will be a reflection of how long until Saudi production is restored.
The question is, right now, who did this? The Houthi’s are claiming responsibility for the drone attack, yet the Mike Pompeo, US Secretary of State, claims it was Iran. I beginning to get the idea that the US just doesn’t know where the drones came from, and Iran seemed a convenient culprit. The US is not taking this to the UN Security Council, which would be the obvious place to begin to show all that we know. Pompeo did not say that the drones were sent from Iran, just that they were responsible for the attack.
The attack took place 500 miles from Yemen. UN investigators have reported that the Houthi’s had drones capable with a range of 930 miles. The Houthi’s said the attack was done by 10 drones.
The current war in Yemen began in 2015, and the civilian losses due to war or starvation have been terrible. It is a proxy war, with Saudi Arabia and the US helping the Yemen government with aerial bombing and Iran’s support of the Houthis. There are excellent summaries of the conflict on Wikipedia.
I think Trump is looking for a pretext to attack Iran. Also, he has no problem of supplying Saudi Arabia with a pretext to attack Iran. It also makes no sense that, given the current conflicts between the US and Iran, that Iran would be involved in an attack on Saudi Arabia. Iran is suffering economically due to the sanctions imposed by Trump. It is desperately trying to convince the rest of our allies not to be pressured by the US in extending these sanctions.