Top crude exporter Saudi Arabia warned Monday that Yemeni rebel attacks on the kingdom’s oil facilities pose a “direct threat” to global supplies.
Saudi Arabia “will not incur any responsibility” for shortages in oil supplies in light of the Iran-backed Huthi attacks, the foreign ministry said in a statement.
These cross-border assaults are a “direct threat to the security of oil supplies in these extremely sensitive circumstances witnessed by the global energy markets”, it added.
The statement comes a day after the kingdom acknowledged a temporary drop in production after the Huthis attacked a refinery with an armed drone.
It urged the international community to “stand firm” against the Huthi insurgents.
Oil prices have repeatedly spiked above $100 per barrel lately, driven by supply concerns centred on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
They rose higher again on Monday. Brent crude was up more than four percent at more than $112 per barrel at one stage.
Analysts said the main mover of the market was news of the EU considering a ban on Russian oil imports, although the Huthi attacks on Aramco were also cited.
The drone assault on the YASREF refinery in Yanbu Industrial City on the Red Sea “led to a temporary reduction in the refinery’s production”, the Saudi energy ministry said Sunday.
It added that the drop would “be compensated for from the inventory”, but did not provide numbers.
The Iran-backed Huthis, against whom Saudi Arabia leads a military coalition in Yemen, have repeatedly targeted the kingdom, including sites belonging to energy giant Aramco.
The Yemeni insurgents said on Sunday that they launched cross-border drone and missile attacks that targeted a number of “vital and important” establishments.
Oil-rich Gulf countries, including Saudi Arabia, have been under pressure to open the supply taps, but have so far held firm, stressing their commitment to output cuts agreed by the OPEC+ alliance of oil producers led by Riyadh and Moscow.