Oil prices soar after attacks on Saudi facilities

"Based on the attack on Saudi Arabia, which may have an impact on oil prices, I have authorized the release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, if needed, in a to-be-determined amount." tweeted the US President.

Trump said the USA had reason to believe it knows who was behind the attack - his secretary of state had blamed Iran the previous day.

The US accusations triggered angry retorts from Iran, which said they were created to act as a pretext for future hostile actions against the Islamic Republic.

A USA official said all options, including a military response, were on the table, but said no decisions had been made Sunday. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the internal deliberations.

"The preliminary results show that the weapons are Iranian and we are now working to determine the location".

The risk of conflict seemed lower less than a week ago, with the departure of hawkish National Security Adviser John Bolton and Trump seeming to embrace the possibility of talks with Iran's President Hassan Rouhani at the United Nations General Assembly later this month in NY.

"It is now clear that Saudi and other Gulf oil facilities are vulnerable to this kind of attack, which means that the geopolitical risk premium for oil needs to rise".

"It's not entirely clear who was behind the attack, but the fact that Ansar Allah has claimed responsibility is bad enough", Griffiths told the council, using the official name of Yemen's Houthi group. USA officials said a strike from there would be a violation of Iraq's sovereignty.

Iran has always been targeting Saudi oil plants. The attack on September 14 proved that Iran has the capability to do serious damage throughout the region. "When these contacts come too close, when forces come into contact with one another, it is possible a conflict happens because of a misunderstanding".

But actions on any side could break into the open a twilight war that's been raging just below the surface of the wider Persian Gulf in recent months.

Tehran's statement on Monday came amid rising tensions after Washington accused it of being behind Saturday's drone attacks on two major oil facilities in Saudi Arabia.

State oil giant Saudi Aramco said the attack cut output by 5.7 million barrels per day, at a time when Aramco is trying to ready itself for what is expected to be the world's largest stock market listing.

Saudi-led military coalition battling Yemen's Houthi movement also said on Monday that the attack on Saudi Arabian oil plants was carried out with Iranian weapons and was not launched from Yemen according to preliminary findings.

Crude oil futures shot up 9.5% to $60 as trading opened Sunday evening in NY, a dramatic increase.

Saudi Arabia has promised to fill in the cut in production with its reserves, but has not said how long it will take to fix the damage. Trump said on Twitter on Sunday.

Prices eased after Trump announced that he would release USA emergency supplies, and producers around the world said there were enough stocks stored up to make up for the shortfall.

He later credited himself for expanding USA energy exports in a Monday morning tweet, writing: "We don't need Middle Eastern Oil & Gas, & in fact have very few tankers there, but will help our Allies!"

Iran's Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Sunday called the USA allegations "meaningless" and said they were meant to justify actions against Iran.

Saudi Arabia is set to become a significant buyer of refined products after the attacks, consultancy Energy Aspects said. He did not elaborate.

"Wherever they are, it only takes one spark and we hit their vessels, their air bases, their troops", he said in a video published online with English subtitles.

Mousavi described reports suggesting that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and his USA counterpart, Donald Trump, would meet at the UN's headquarters later this month as mere "speculation".

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