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September 14, 2019 | Drone Strikes Shut Down Half of Saudi Arabia Oil Production

Mike 'Mish' Shedlock

Mike Shedlock / Mish is a registered investment advisor representative for SitkaPacific Capital Management. Sitka Pacific is an asset management firm whose goal is strong performance and low volatility, regardless of market direction.
The Shutdown amounts to a loss of some five million barrels a day, roughly 5% of the world’s daily production of crude.

Houthi rebels in neighboring Yemen claimed responsibility for a Coordinated Drone Strike Shutting Down About Half of Saudi Arabia’s Oil Output.

A coordinated drone strike hit at the heart of Saudi oil production on Saturday, sparking an enormous blaze and forcing the kingdom to shut down about half of its crude output, according to people familiar with matter.

The Saudi production shutdown amounts to a loss of about five million barrels a day, the people said, roughly 5% of the world’s daily production of crude oil. The kingdom produces 9.8 million barrels a day.

This attack appeared to be the most effective, starting large fires at Hijra Khurais, one of Saudi Arabia’s largest oil fields, and at Abqaiq, the world’s biggest crude stabilization facility. Khurais produces 1.5 million barrels a day while Abqaiq helps produce up to 7 million barrels a day.

A Houthi spokesman said the attack involved 10 drones. Published images of the fire at the Abqaiq facility showed what appeared to be a huge blaze along with plumes of smoke.

“We promise the Saudi regime that our future operations will expand and be more painful as long as its aggression and siege continue,” the spokesman said.

The Houthis took control of Yemen’s capital, San’a, in 2014 during a civil war. Since then, a Saudi-led coalition has fought a war to unseat the Houthis and reinstate a government supported by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other regional powers.

Oil Prices

Oil futures will jump as soon as they open trading tomorrow evening.

Roots of the Conflict – Yemen Civil War

The war between Yemen and Saudi Arabia has its roots in a Yemeni Civil War that started in 2015 and is still ongoing.

The conflict is between two factions: the Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi led Yemeni government and the Houthi armed movement, along with their supporters and allies. Both claim to constitute the official government of Yemen.

The Houthi overthrew the Hadi government in 2015 and Hadi fled the country.

The Hadi government is also in conflict with UAE forces as a result of UAE military measures such as the United Arab Emirates takeover of Socotra and UAE-backed STC takeover of Aden.

Yemini Civil War Map

Famine, US Involvement

Saudi Arabia wants to restore the prior government and the US meddles by giving Saudi Arabia bombs, other weapons and logistical support.

According to the UN and other sources, from March 2015 to December 2017, between 8,670–13,600 people were killed in Yemen, including more than 5,200 civilians, as well as estimates of more than 50,000 dead as a result of an ongoing famine due to the war.

The conflict has been widely seen as an extension of the Iran–Saudi Arabia proxy conflict and as a means to combat Iranian influence in the region. In 2018, the United Nations warned that 13 million Yemeni civilians face starvation in what it says could become “the worst famine in the world in 100 years.”

The international community has sharply condemned the Saudi Arabian-led bombing campaign, which has included widespread bombing of civilian areas. The bombing campaign has killed or injured an estimated 17,729 civilians as of March 2019 according to the Yemen Data Project. Despite this, the crisis has only recently begun to gain as much international media attention as the Syrian Civil War.

The US has been providing bombs to aid the Saudi forces and airstrikes in Yemen. In March 2019, this has led the United States Senate to pass a resolution to end US support of Saudi Arabia. It has since been vetoed by President of the United States Donald Trump, and in May, the Senate failed to override the veto.

Yemini Civil War Images


The US blames Iran and Iran denies they are a part.

Regardless, this is not our battle.

It’s not even clear which side the US should be on if the US was somehow forced to take sides.

All the US has accomplished is to prolong the war. 13 million Yemeni civilians face starvation.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock

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September 14th, 2019

Posted In: Mish Talk

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