Saudi energy minister sees ‘plenty’ of oil supply but concerned about tanker attacks
Saudi energy minister Khalid al-Falih said Saturday the oil market has plenty of supply, but he is concerned about acts of terrorism and supply disruptions following the attacks on two oil product tankers near the Strait of Hormuz.
“There is plenty of supply. That’s for sure,” Falih said on the sidelines of the G20 energy meeting in Karuizawa in Nagano, Japan.
“So far the supply is stable and no interruption, but of course I am concerned about act of terrorism and disruptions, and the responsibility of those who are perpetuating what has taken place,” Falih said. “But I’m confident that at the end of the day, the international community will come together and do the right thing, and security of supply will continue.”
Fatih Birol, the head of the International Energy Agency, said Friday on the sidelines of G20 that the attacks represent a major concern for global energy security, adding that the agency stands ready to respond if oil supplies are disrupted.
Risk levels associated with shipping crude oil and LNG via the Strait of Hormuz, the Middle East’s key shipping artery, have escalated sharply, inflating tanker costs in the region.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Thursday that the Front Altair and the Kokuka Courageous tankers were hit by “unprovoked attacks” from Iran just a month after similar attacks on pipelines in Saudi Arabia and on ships in nearby waters off Fujairah.