Oil price surges as U.S. warns Iran it's 'locked and loaded'

The weekend drone attack in Buqyaq on one of the world's largest crude oil processing plants that dramatically cut into global oil supplies

Oil price surges as U.S. warns Iran it's 'locked and loaded'

Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abulaziz bin Salman said the attacks on Abqaib and Khurais facilities cut the company's overall crude oil supply by around 5.7 million barrels per day (bpd), according to Saudi state-run news agency SPA.

Aramco gave no timeline for output resumption but said early Sunday it would give a progress update in around 48 hours.

The attacks have inflamed tensions in the Persian Gulf, with both Iran and Iraq denying involvement.

President Donald Trump says the US has reason to believe it knows who was behind the attack on Saudi Arabian energy facilities and is "locked and loaded" depending on verification and other issues. According to insiders, the return to full oil capacity will take "weeks".

The oil processing plant at Abqaiq handles crude from the world's largest conventional oilfield, the supergiant Ghawar, and for export to terminals Ras Tanura - the world's biggest offshore oil loading facility - and Juaymah.

The decision also comes one day after a drone attack hit the heart of Saudi Arabia's oil industry.

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France, condemning Saturday's attack, said such actions "can only worsen regional tensions and risk of conflict".

The worldwide community has voiced its condemnation of the attacks and concerns over the oil supply. "There is no evidence the attacks came from Yemen", he wrote on Twitter.

Trump said he would release oil from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve in response to the attacks potentially impacting oil prices. But the attacks on these two installations will mean the loss of about 5% of the global oil supply, which could increase the price of oil globally.

Tehran has dismissed the allegations of its involvement, calling the United States claims "maximum lies" and saying that it was ready to protect itself in case a war breaks out.

"How the United States and Saudi Arabia deal with the situation will be closely watched", said Margaret Yang, market analyst at CMC Markets in Singapore. The front-month contract was at $66.20 per barrel, up $5.98, or 9.9%, from their previous close, at by 0343 GMT. In daylight, Saudi state television aired a segment with its local correspondent near a police checkpoint, a thick plume of smoke visible behind him. Brent crude, the benchmark used in European oil markets, opened 18% higher and is now trading up about 12%.

The news came as oil prices soared Sunday evening.

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The attack came after Trump said a meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was possible at the UN General Assembly in NY this month.

"Tehran is behind almost 100 attacks on Saudi Arabia while Rouhani and Zarif pretend to engage in diplomacy", the U.S. state secretary said in his Twitter account. Tehran ruled out talks until sanctions are lifted.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks during a cabinet meeting in Tehran, Iran, Sept. 11, 2019.

Pompeo also said there was nothing to back the Houthi claim of responsibility.

Meanwhile, an Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commander said that all US military bases and vessels in the region are within the reach of Iranian missiles, Iran's Tasnim News Agency reported on Sunday.

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