Oil prices surge as attack on Saudi facility disrupts output

Oil prices surge as attack on Saudi facility disrupts output
This image provided on Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, by the U.S. government and DigitalGlobe and annotated by the source, shows damage to the infrastructure at at Saudi Aramco's Kuirais oil field in Buqyaq, Saudi Arabia. The drone attack Saturday on Saudi Arabia's Abqaiq plant and its Khurais oil field led to the interruption of an estimated 5.7 million barrels of the kingdom's crude oil production per day, equivalent to more than 5% of the world's daily supply. (U.S. government/Digital Globe via AP)

An attack on a critical Saudi Arabia oil plant has pushed crude prices sharply higher, though its longer-term impact depends on how long production is disrupted and what this weekend’s attack presages for the future.

U.S. crude oil jumped $5.61 per barrel, or 10.2%, to $60.46 per barrel early Monday in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the international standard, surged $7.84 per barrel, or 13%, to $68.06 per barrel.

Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for the attack on the Saudi Aramco facility, Saudi Arabia’s largest oil processing plant. It halted production of 5.7 million barrels of crude a day, more than half of Saudi Arabia’s global daily exports and more than 5% of the world’s daily crude oil production. Most output goes to Asia.