Published: Thu, May 16, 2019
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Oil Prices Rise as Saudi Energy Minister Reports Drone Attack on Pipeline

Oil Prices Rise as Saudi Energy Minister Reports Drone Attack on Pipeline

Crude futures remained under pressure as U.S.

The attacks followed reports of sabotage against oil tankers in the Persian Gulf off the coast of the United Arab Emirates on Sunday, with tensions rising between the US and Iran.

But Mr Trump later described the report as fake news. Now, would I do that?

CBS carried a similar report quoting unnamed United States officials. Hopefully we're not going to have to plan for that.

In Washington, Trump told reporters he would "absolutely" be willing to send troops to the Middle East, but that he's not planned for that and hopefully won't have to plan for that.

Iran, which is ensnared in an escalating war of words with the United States over sanctions and the USA military presence in the region, moved to distance itself from the controversy on Monday.

"There won't be any war".

"We. talked about the policies that hardliners in the U.S. administration as well as in the region are attempting to impose", Zarif told Iranian state TV in India after a bilateral meeting with Sushma Swaraj.

Tehran is caught up in a mounting war of words with the U.S. over sanctions and the recent escalation of its military's presence in the region.

Diplomatic relations between the USA and Iran have deteriorated following President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the nuclear deal inked with the oil-rich nation. Tehran had agreed to curb its uranium enrichment capacity, a potential pathway to a nuclear bomb, and won sanctions relief in return under the accord signed during the administration of Trump's predecessor Barack Obama.

Saudi and American US officials have long anxious about the Strait of Hormuz becoming a battleground should tensions with Iran break out into open conflict.

The official, who spoke to AFP on condition of anonymity, said the United States, France and Norway were involved in the investigation along with the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

The official said possible perpetrators might include Houthi rebels in Yemen and Iran-backed Shi'ite militias based in Iraq.

Iran was a prime suspect in the sabotage on Sunday although Washington had no conclusive proof, a United States official familiar with American intelligence said on Monday.

Arab military analysts have publicly doubted that an armed attack against the ships took place. The Iranian-sponsored Houthi rebels are fighting the internationally recognized government of President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi, which is supported by the Saudi-led coalition.

State-run Aramco said it had temporarily shut down the East-West pipeline, known as Petroline, for evaluation.

An oil pipeline that runs across Saudi Arabia was hit Tuesday by drones, the Saudi energy minister said, as regional tensions flared just days after what the kingdom called an attack on two of its oil tankers elsewhere in the Mideast.

A general view shows a new plant inaugurated March 22, 2006 in Haradh, about 280 kilometers (170 miles) southwest of the eastern Saudi oil city of Dhahran.

The recent escalation of the US-China trade war and the plunge in global markets has drastically reduced the demand for crude oil.

A report from Sky News Arabia, a satellite channel owned by an Abu Dhabi ruling family member, showed the allegedly targeted Saudi tanker Al Marzoqah afloat without any apparent damage.

Falih said Tuesday's incident was an "act of terrorism. that not only targets the kingdom but also the security of oil supplies to the world and the global economy".

"This attack proves, yet again, the importance that all sides stand against such destructive terror attacks". The narrow waterway separates Iran from the Arabian Peninsula.

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