Saudi Arabia’s national oil company expects to restore roughly a third of crude output disrupted due to a weekend attack by day’s end on Monday, Saudi officials said, a step back from earlier hopes that it could quickly resume full production by the start of the week.
The strikes on Saudi facilities Saturday knocked out 5.7 million barrels of daily production, and the officials said they still believe they can fully replace it in coming days. That would require tapping oil inventories and using other facilities to process crude. One of the main targets of the attack was a large crude-processing plant in Abqaiq.
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“We should be able to have 2 million barrels a day back online…by tomorrow,” said one person familiar with the matter.
The Saudi national oil company, known as Aramco, has determined that its facilities were hit by missiles, people familiar with the matter said. A U.S. government assessment determined that up to 15 structures at Abqaiq suffered damage.
said early Sunday that work is underway to restore production. The company will issue a progress update sometime Tuesday. It will take weeks to return to full production capacity at the damaged facilities, according to people familiar with damage estimates in Saudi Arabia.
The assessments came as Aramco executives and Saudi officials evaluated the damage a day after the strikes on Abqaiq and Khurais, one of Saudi Arabia’s largest oil fields, forced the country to suspend more than half of its output, which represents over 5% of global supply. Yemeni Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for the attack, though the U.S. has said it believes Iran is responsible, which Tehran has denied.
“It is definitely worse than what we expected in the early hours after the attack, but we are making sure that the market won’t experience any shortages until we’re fully back online,” said a Saudi official.
Saudi Arabia has for decades been the stable oil producer global markets turn to in times of crude crisis, but the attack at the heart of its oil complex is testing Riyadh’s role, potentially triggering a spike in fuel prices.
—Sarah McFarlane contributed to this article.
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