Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Fears Emerge over Worsening Global Oil Prices

Fears Emerge over Worsening Global Oil Prices

Tuesday, 22 March, 2022 - 10:30
General view of Saudi Aramco’s Ras Tanura oil refinery and oil terminal in Saudi Arabia May 21, 2018. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah/File Photo

Saudi Arabia announced Monday that it would not bear responsibility for global oil shortages following attacks by Iran-backed Houthi militias affected the Kingdom’s production.

In a statement on Monday, the Saudi Foreign Ministry has called on the international community to assume its responsibility to preserve energy supplies, in order to deter attacks that jeopardize “the Kingdom’s production capability and its ability to fulfill its commitments.”

On Sunday, the Houthi militia fired missiles and drones at Saudi energy and water desalination facilities, causing a temporary drop in output at a refinery but no casualties, the Saudi Energy Ministry and state media reported.

Also, analysts told Asharq Al-Awsat that oil prices were expected to rise with the scarcity of supplies and the continuation of the uncertainty that dominates the energy market, weeks after the outbreak of the military conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

In remarks to Asharq Al-Awsat, Mohammad Salem Srour Sabban, an oil expert and advisor to the former Saudi Minister of Petroleum Affairs, said that over the past decades, the Kingdom has been bearing alone the cost of stabilizing energy markets. He warned however that the repeated attacks by the Houthis could damage the structure of the oil fields, and cause the deterioration of production in some refineries and fields.

“The world has to adapt to lower Saudi production in light of the significant rise in the oil markets,” Sabban emphasized.

He added that the Saudi position reflected discontent with the position of the West and the United Nations in their dealings with the Iranian-backed terrorist Houthi militia.

For his part, Oil Strategist Rashid Abanmi, said that the Saudi government has called on the international community “to assume its responsibility to maintain security in the face of terrorist attacks condemned by all over the world, instead of considering them as a special regional matter.”

“The current hostile attacks will expose the oil facilities that the world needs…,” he warned, adding that consuming countries also have a duty to ease the additional burdens on producers and lift high taxes on oil.

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