Oil barrel prices fell more than 6 percent yesterday, after media reports revealed that Saudi Arabia’s oil production could be restored faster than expected, following the attacks that took place at the end of last week, reports Reuters and AFP. The North Sea oil barrel was down 6.24 percent to USD 64.63 on the London stock exchange, while the WTI crude oil lost 6.22 percent to USD 59.02 per barrel the New York Stock Exchange.
Almost half of Saudi Arabia’s oil production, i.e. 5 percent of the world’s oil production, is currently missing from the market as a result of drone strikes that took place on two oilfields in eastern Saudi Arabia on Saturday. Following these attacks, crude oil prices rose Monday by almost 15 percent on the London stock exchange, an unprecedented rise in a single day.
But on Tuesday, a number of sources told Reuters that Saudi Arabia’s oil production will be fully restored within two to three weeks, instead of a few months as originally thought. According to a top Saudi official quoted by Reuters, the monarchy is expected to restore 70 percent of its daily production volume of 5.7 million barrels, lost as a result of attacks on the two refineries, Abqaiq and Khurais. The same source also states that production by Saudi Aramco will return to normal within the next two to three weeks.
Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Energy, Abdulaziz bin Salman, is due to hold a press conference at 5:00 pm GMT.
“All eyes will be directed to this press conference. We need a proper analysis of the damage, we need to see a recovery plan. Until then we will not know how much oil will be missing from the market and for how long,” said Samuel Ciszuk, partner at the consulting firm ELS Analysis.