Attack on world’s largest crude terminal in Saudi Arabia sends oil surging to 13-month high

Global prices for crude oil extended gains to a more than one-year high on Monday, after an alarm message from Saudi Arabia that the world’s largest crude terminal at Ras Tanura had been attacked. Output remained unaffected.

International benchmark Brent was up 2.9 percent to $71 a barrel – the highest since January 2020 –   while West Texas Intermediate climbed to $67,59 per barrel, marking a growth of 2.53 percent.

A crude-oil storage tank at Ras Tanura, on the Gulf kingdom’s coast, was reportedly targeted by a drone from the sea on Sunday, despite the terminal being one of the most protected facilities in the world. Its daily export capacities of around 6.5 million barrels a day account for about seven percent of global oil demand.

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The attack comes as part of a recent escalation of warring tensions in the Middle East, after Yemen’s Houthi rebels reportedly launched a series of attacks on Saudi Arabia. Sunday’s incursion was the most  serious against a Saudi oil facility since September 2019, when a key processing facility and two oil fields came under fire, causing a halt to production for several days.

Crude prices extended their rally last week, following the news that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allied oil producers, together known as OPEC+, agreed to prolong existing output curbs for April. At the same time, Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil producer, made a surprise announcement that it would maintain its voluntary supply cuts in April, withholding a million barrels a day from the market in addition to the cartel’s efforts.

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