Trump authorizes release of oil from strategic petroleum reserve after attacks on Saudi oil facilities

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to reporters before leaving the White House in Washington D.C. Sept. 12, 2019. Photo Xinhua
  • Xinhua
  • September 16, 2019 3:10 AM

WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Donald Trump said on Sunday that he has authorized the release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve after attacks on Saudi Arabian oil production facilities.


"Based on the attack on Saudi Arabia, which may have an impact on oil prices, I have authorized the release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, if needed, in a to-be-determined amount sufficient to keep the markets well-supplied," Trump tweeted.


"I have also informed all appropriate agencies to expedite approvals of the oil pipelines currently in the permitting process in Texas and various other States," the president added.


The move came after drone attacks on Saudi Arabian oil production facilities on Saturday have raised global concerns over oil supplies.


The drone attacks were reported at dawn of Saturday with several explosions on Saudi Aramco plants in Khurais and Abqaiq in the east of the country, resulting in fires that were later controlled.


Saudi Arabian Energy Minister Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud announced on Sunday that the drone attacks caused temporary suspension of production at targeted oil plants.


According to Aramco, after Saturday's attacks, Saudi Arabia saw production cut by 5.7 million barrels, or about 50 percent of the company's daily production.


The country's total production hovers around 10 million barrels per day, with an average of 9.85 million barrels per day in August, data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration show.


The international community has voiced its condemnation of the attacks and an investigation has been launched, according to the Saudi Interior Ministry.


Trump tweeted on Sunday that his administration is waiting to hear from Saudi Arabia as to who they believe was the cause of this attack, and under what terms the United States would proceed.


U.S. oil futures advanced about 12 percent to 61.60 U.S. dollars a barrel shortly after trading opened Sunday evening, while Brent crude futures soared 13 percent to nearly 69 dollars a barrel, The Wall Street Journal reported.

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