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Saudi Crown Prince warns of ‘Iran threat’ to global oil prices

Saudi Crown Prince warns of ‘Iran threat’ to global oil prices
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attends the Future Investment Initiative conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia October 24, 2017. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

Riyadh: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman has warned that oil prices could increase to “unimaginably high numbers” if the world does not act to deter Iran, the media reported on Monday.

The BBC quoted the Crown Prince as saying in a CBS News interview on Sunday that a war between Saudi Arabia and Iran would ruin the global economy, following the September 14 drone attacks on a major oil field and a petroleum processing facility in the Kingdom, which it blames on Tehran.

“If the world does not take a strong and firm action to deter Iran, we will see further escalations that will threaten world interests.

“Oil supplies will be disrupted and oil prices will jump to unimaginably high numbers that we haven’t seen in our lifetimes,” the Crown Prince said.

He said that the Middle East region “represents about 30 per cent of the world’s energy supplies, about 20 per cent of global trade passages, about 4 per cent of the world GDP”.

“Imagine all of these three things stop. This means a total collapse of the global economy, and not just Saudi Arabia or the Middle East countries,” the Crown Prince added.

The September 14 attacks were carried out by 18 drones and seven cruise missiles.

It hit the Hijra Khurais – one of Saudi Arabia’s largest oil fields, producing about 1.5 million barrels a day – and Abqaiq, the world’s biggest crude stabilization facility, which processes seven million barrels of Saudi oil a day, or about 8 per cent of the world’s total output.

The attack disrupted about half of the Kingdom’s oil capacity, or 5 per cent of the daily global oil supply.

The oil field and the processing facility belonged to the state energy company Aramco, which is the world’s largest oil producer.

Yemen’s Houthi rebels have said they were behind the attacks. But Saudi Arabia and its Western allies have blamed Iran, a claim which Tehran has strongly denied.

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