The manic headline hockey around the restoration of Saudi oil production continued apace on Tuesday, with reports indicating output could be fully restored within “two to three weeks”. That’s according to two unidentified sources who spoke to Reuters.
One of the people said the kingdom is “close to restoring 70%” of the 5.7 million barrels per day of capacity lost over the weekend in the attacks on Abqaiq and Khurais. The outage left traders staring at the biggest supply disruption in the history of the oil market, causing prices to spike by a record when trading started on Monday.
Competing accounts of Aramco’s progress in restoring lost capacity have littered the tape over the last 48 hours. The new information from Reuters tips a much more optimistic timeline, and prices responded accordingly, plunging more than 6%.
Again, this is a rather abrupt about face. Less than 24 hours previous, sources said it could take “months” to restore full capacity.
You can expect these competing accounts to continue unabated in the days ahead, until there’s a definitive, on-the-record statement from Aramco.
The company’s dollar bonds rebounded on Tuesday after dropping to start the week in the aftermath of the attacks, and as rumors about the fate of the IPO abound.
Meanwhile, the “investigation” into where the attacks were launched from continues. Donald Trump indicated on Monday afternoon that he “didn’t want war”, but reiterated that the US military is prepared for any contingency. US lawmakers are understandably on edge.
For his part, Khamenei ruled out talks with the US “at any time” in remarks on Tuesday.