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.