Oil rose as Saudi Arabia reported drone attacks on pumping stations, the latest escalation in Middle East tensions after tankers were hit by sabotage over the weekend.
Futures rose 1.2% in New York, reversing the previous day’s drop. Unidentified dro-nes attacked two pumping st-ations belonging to Saudi Ara- mco, forcing the state oil company to suspend operations in the area to assess what the kingdom said was “limited” damage. That follows damage to oil tankers anchored off the United Arab Emirates.
Oil volatility has jumped this month as crude is buffeted by the specter of a full-blown trade war on demand side, while a combustible Middle East and production disruptions from Norway to Nigeria are throwing the supply outlook into doubt. US drilling activity and a pending decision by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies on whether output curbs will be extended are taking a back seat to the various crises.
“We are witnessing a tussle between economic concerns and tightening oil-market balance,” said Tamas Varga, an analyst at PVM Oil Associates Ltd. in London.
Pump stations eight and nine on East-West pipeline, which carries oil from Saudi eastern province to Red Sea port of Yanbu were attacked by armed drones, Energy Mi-nster Khalid Al-Falih said in a statement. That ignited a fire that caused minor damage to station number eight, but it was eventually brought under control.
West Texas Intermediate crude for June delivery advanced 72 cents to $61.76 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange in London.
UAE condemns attack on Saudi oil stations
ABU DHABI / WAM
The United Arab Emirates has strongly condemned the drone attacks on two pump stations on Saudi Aramco’s East-West pipeline.
The pipeline transports Saudi oil from the Eastern Province to the port of Yanbu.
In a statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MOFAIC) denounced the “cowardly act of terrorism and sabotage” aimed at undermining the safety of the world’s global energy supplies and economy. It reaffirmed the UAE’s outright support for the kingdom and for all measures taken to protect the security of its facilities and natural