Saudi Arabia ‘will not be responsible’ for high oil prices — RT World News

After series of attacks on its oil facilities, kingdom says low supply and high prices are not its fault

Saudi Arabia said on Monday that it “will not bear any responsibility” for soaring oil prices or shrinking supplies following a series of attacks on a refinery and other energy facilities by Houthi rebels the previous day.

In a statement acknowledging that the attacks could have “serious consequences” For energy markets already reeling from the conflict in Ukraine, the kingdom called on the international community to oppose the Houthis in the interests of safeguarding global oil supplies.

“The kingdom stresses the importance for the international community to realize the seriousness of Iran’s continued behavior of equipping Houthi terrorist militias with technology… [to] target the kingdom’s production sites”, reads the statement from the Saudi Foreign Ministry.

Members of the Houthi rebel movement on Sunday struck facilities belonging to the Yanbu Aramco Sinopec Refining Company – a joint venture between Saudi Aramco and the China Petrochemical Corporation (Sinopec) – and other energy companies with drone and missile strikes, not causing no immediately reported casualties, but leading to a “temporary reduction” production, according to the Saudi Ministry of Energy.

Saudi Arabia has been waging a war against the Houthis in Yemen since 2015. The conflict has been described by the UN as the “the worst humanitarian crisis in the world” and resulted in the deaths of 377,000 people, more than two-thirds of them under the age of five, according to UN figures as of the end of 2021. It is often seen as a proxy war between Iran and the Saudi Arabia, because of Iran’s support for the Houthis. Tehran, however, denies having armed the rebels.

Attacks like those on Sunday represent “a direct threat to the security of oil supplies in these extremely sensitive circumstances witnessed by global energy markets”, the Saudi statement continued.

Global energy markets have already reacted with shock and volatility to the conflict in Ukraine, with U.S. gasoline prices hitting an all-time high of $4.33 a gallon earlier this month and stabilizing at $4.25 on Monday, according to the American Automobile Association. Brent crude oil is currently trading at around $112 a barrel, down from nearly $140 at the start of the month, but still around $15 higher than before the outbreak of hostilities.

Decisions by the United States and the United Kingdom to ban imports of Russian energy have also put enormous pressure on the market, compounded by the reluctance of the Biden administration to grant drilling permits in the United States and the refusal to allow the completion of the Keystone XL pipeline.

Against this backdrop, the United States has urged the Saudi Arabia-led OPEC bloc to pump more oil, which OPEC has so far refused to do. The United States, however, recently stepped up deliveries of missile interceptor batteries to Saudi Arabia to protect its facilities from future attacks, officials told AP.

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