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Global energy prices spiked on Monday after a weekend attack on key oil facilities in Saudi Arabia caused the worst disruption to world supplies on record, an assault for which President Donald Trump warned that the U.S. was 'locked and loaded' to respond.
U.S. officials offered satellite images of the damage at the heart of the kingdom's crucial Abqaiq oil processing plant and a key oil field, alleging the pattern of destruction suggested the attack on Saturday came from either Iraq or Iran - rather than Yemen, as claimed by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels there.
Iran - Part - US - Allegations - Lies
Iran for its part called the U.S. allegations 'maximum lies.'
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.
Attacks - Oil - Tankers - America - Tehran
Already, there have been mysterious attacks on oil tankers that America blames on Tehran, at least one suspected Israeli strike on Shiite forces in Iraq, and Iran has shot down a U.S. military surveillance drone.
Benchmark Brent crude gained nearly 20% in the first moments of trading Monday before settling down to 10% higher as trading continued. A barrel of Brent traded up $6 to $66.28.
US - Benchmark - West - Texas - Crude
U.S. benchmark West Texas crude was up around 9%. U.S. gasoline and heating oil similarly were up over 8% and 7% respectively before markets opened in New York.
Saturday's attack 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 of that output goes to Asia.
Barrels - Crude - Oil - Day - Saudi
At 5.7 million barrels of crude oil a day, the Saudi disruption would be the greatest on record for world markets, according to figures from the Paris-based International Energy Agency. It just edges out the 5.6 million-barrels-a-day disruption around the time of Iran's...
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