Photo Credit: Wikimedia / Eagleamn
Saudi Aramco Core area headquarters and office buildings in Dhahran city

Saudi Arabia has shut down about half of its oil production – about five million barrels a day — after a drone attack on Saudi oil fields by Houthi rebels disrupted output at two facilities, according to multiple reports.

Iranian-backed Houthi rebels took responsibility for the attacks Saturday, saying 10 drones targeted the state-owned Saudi Aramco oil facilities in Abqaiq and Khurais, according to the Houthi-run Al-Masirah news agency.

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The United States is blaming Iran for the attacks, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal.

The most recent OPEC figures (August 2019) cited total Saudi oil production at 9.8 million barrels per day. Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest oil exporter, producing approximately 10 percent of the total global supply of 100 million barrels per day.

The attack sparked a huge fire at a crude oil processing plant considered essential to global oil supplies, Oil Price.com, a site dedicated to oil & energy news, reported.

The closure is expected to impact nearly five million barrels of crude processing per day, affecting five percent of the world’s daily oil production. It is also expected to result in a loss as high as 150MM barrels per month and may send oil prices into the triple digits.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.