New Saudi energy minister Prince Abdulaziz Bin Salman said supplies have already returned to levels consistent with those maintained prior to Saturday’s attacks on the kingdom’s oil infrastructure.
He spoke Tuesday at the first official briefing since drone strikes knocked out half of Saudi capacity over the weekend.
The attacks prompted the biggest intraday price spike on record and left markets staring at the largest supply disruption in history. Earlier Tuesday, sources indicated that 70% of supplies would be restored in short order.
During the proceedings, Prince Abdulaziz promised the Saudis will ensure full oil supply to customers throughout the month and said production capacity should be 11 million barrels per day by the end of September. Full capacity of 12 million barrels will be available by end-November.
The prince called Saturday’s events “terrorist attacks” and implored the international community to “take strong action” against what Riyadh is pitching as an assault on the global economy and energy markets. US officials have used similar language. He declined to name Iran as the responsible party.
As far as the Aramco IPO goes, he said the company will “overcome the repercussions of the attack” and intends to be “ready” to go ahead with the offering.
The foreign ministry made an actual poster:
“#Saudi oil output has recovered”
– Minister of Energy Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman pic.twitter.com/DArzKCExGu
— Foreign Ministry 🇸🇦 (@KSAmofaEN) September 17, 2019
MBS adviser Yasir Al-Rumayyan – who replaced Khalid al-Falih as Aramco Chairman just a week before he was ousted as energy minister in favor of Prince Abdulaziz – said the IPO “will happen anytime in the next 12 months”.
“The attacks will not stop Aramco’s preparations”, Al-Rumayyan declared.
Aramco CEO Amin Nasser got a bit more granular on the operations side of things, noting that Abqaiq is now processing 2 million barrels of crude per day, bringing it to around 40% of its capacity prior to Saturday’s attacks. He also said the company had the fires extinguished in less than seven hours, and that the facility will be processing the full, pre-attack 4.9 million barrels a day by the end of September.
Oil fell to the lows of the day as the press conference unfolded.