Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman says Riyadh does not yet know who were behind the highly disruptive drone attacks on Saudi Aramco petroleum and gas processing plants at Abqaiq and Khurais in the kingdom’s Eastern Province, which sent crude prices skyrocketing.
“We don’t know who is behind the attack,” he told reporters in the western Red Sea city of Jeddah on Tuesday, adding that Riyadh wants “proof based on professionalism and internationally recognized standards.”
Prince Abdulaziz, who was only appointed to the role earlier this month, went on to say that Saudi Arabia had dipped into its strategic reserves to maintain supply to clients.
He said stricter measures were needed to be taken to prevent further attacks, but did provide any elaboration.
The Saudi energy minister then alleged that the kingdom would achieve 11 million barrels per day (bpd) capacity by the end of September, and 12 million bpd by the end of November.
“Restoring sustainable production capacity to 11 million bpd by the end of the month is an ambitious target, given the amount of repairs required” at the sites, Alex Schindelar, president of the Energy Intelligence group, told AFP though.
The remarks come as the United States has tried to build its case that Iran was behind the attacks. Iran has denied being behind the assaults, which knocked out half of Saudi Arabia’s oil production.
Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement has claimed responsibility for the attacks, warning Saudi Arabia that their targets “will keep expanding.”