Oil prices surge most on record after Houthis hit Saudi Aramco
Oil surged the most on record after a devastating attack on Saudi Arabia intensified concerns about growing instability in the world’s most important crude-producing region.
In an extraordinary start to the week’s trading, Brent futures in London leaped a record $12 a barrel in early trading Monday, before settling just above $69 for the biggest one-day percentage gain since the contract began trading in 1988. Prices may remain elevated after Saudi officials downplayed prospects for a rapid recovery of production capacity.
Saudi Aramco faces weeks or months before most output from its giant Abqaiq crude-processing complex is restored, according to people familiar with matter. Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Ministrysaid Iranian weapons were used in the attacks on Saudi Aramco, while the U.S. blamed Iran for the attacks.
For oil markets, it’s the worst sudden supply disruption ever. The attacks that damaged a key processing complex and one of the Saudi’s marquee fields highlight the vulnerability of the world’s biggest exporter. The crisis also means a “new geopolitical premium” of about $5 a barrel, Mizuho Securities USA’s Paul Sankey wrote in a note.