Iran’s Rouhani vows response to oil tanker attack

By Arsalan Shahla and Golnar Motevalli on 10/14/2019

LONDON (Bloomberg) – President Hassan Rouhani vowed Monday that Iran would respond to an attack on one of its oil tankers in the Red Sea, saying the evidence suggested it was the work of a government not a terrorist group.

Addressing reporters in his first news conference since the U.S. abandoned the 2015 nuclear deal last year, Rouhani said officials in Tehran had seen footage of the incident and it was likely that several rockets were aimed at the tanker. He stopped short of assigning blame, but the vessel was sailing near the Saudi port of Jeddah at the time of the attack.

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Iran says tanker hit by missiles in Red Sea near Saudi Arabia

By Arsalan Shahla, Golnar Motevalli and Yasna Haghdoost on 10/11/2019

DUBAI (Bloomberg) – Iran said missiles struck one of its tankers in the Red Sea, the latest in a series of attacks on oil infrastructure in the region that have roiled energy markets.

The Islamic Republic’s tanker company initially said the attacks probably came from Saudi Arabia, but later withdrew the claim. The incident, which caused a spill and a jump of as much as 2.6% in crude prices, comes weeks after a devastating attack on major Saudi oil facilities that Riyadh blamed on Tehran.

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CNPC quits flagship Iran gas project amid U.S. sanctions

By Arsalan Shahla and Verity Ratcliffe on 10/7/2019

TEHRAN (Bloomberg) – China National Petroleum Corp. is no longer a partner in Iran’s biggest natural gas project, and the Persian Gulf nation will develop Phase 11 of the giant South Pars field on its own, Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said.

CNPC was the only international partner left in the project, after Total SA of France withdrew last year when U.S. President Donald Trump abandoned the 2015 nuclear accord and reimposed sanctions on Iran. Phase 11 was the biggest infrastructure development project with major foreign participants that Iran arranged after the accord took effect.

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Pentagon readying a public show of evidence in Saudi attacks

By Tony Capaccio on 9/17/2019

WASHINGTON (Bloomberg) – The Pentagon is preparing a report on who was responsible for the weekend attack on Saudi oil facilities and intends to make it public within 48 hours, a U.S. defense official said.

The official couldn’t confirm or deny a CBS News report that the U.S. has identified locations in southern Iran from which it believes more than 20 drones and cruise missiles were launched.

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Saudi Arabia says Iranian weapons were used to attack oil facilities

By Vivian Nereim, Abbas Al Lawati and Bill Faries on 9/16/2019

RIYADH (Bloomberg) – Saudi Arabia said preliminary findings show Iranian weapons were used in the attack on one of its key oil installations, but stopped short of directly blaming the Islamic Republic for the strikes that cut its crude output by half and rattled oil markets.

Ongoing investigations of “debris and wreckage” show “it belongs to the Iranian regime,” Turki al-Maliki, a spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, told reporters in Riyadh on Monday. He said initial findings suggest the attack was not launched from Yemen, contradicting claims by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels that they carried out the attack using a swarm of long-range drones with more sophisticated engines.

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Trump faces tough choices after blaming Iran for Saudi oil attack

By Jordan Fabian, Nick Wadhams, David Wainer and Glen Carey on 9/15/2019

WASHINGTON (Bloomberg) – The Trump administration sought to offer new evidence to back its claim that Iran conducted the attack on major Saudi Arabian oil facilities, saying the munitions used in the strikes were well beyond the capabilities of the Houthi rebels who claimed responsibility.

The evidence put forward by several administration officials on Sunday – a day after Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said unequivocally in a tweet that Iran was to blame – suggested that the administration was sensitive to skepticism about its assertions as well as concern that it may be trying to provoke a conflict with the regime in Tehran.

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U.S. says weapons in Saudi oilfield attack were beyond Houthi capability

By Nick Wadhams on 9/15/2019

WASHINGTON (Bloomberg) – There’s no doubt Iran was behind attacks on a key oil facility in Saudi Arabia, two senior U.S. administration officials said, citing evidence that the location and weapons used were beyond the capability of Houthi rebels in Yemen who claimed responsibility.

The officials, who asked not to be identified discussing internal deliberations, said evidence suggests that cruise missiles were used in Saturday’s attacks, and that one of the locations hit — the world’s biggest crude-processing facility in Abqaiq — was beyond the range of the rebels’ known armaments.

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Industry awaits Saudi Arabia’s move after drone attack on infrastructure

By Julian Lee on 9/14/2019

LONDON (Bloomberg) – Middle East geopolitics have come back with a vengeance to hit the oil market. What everybody feared has happened. An attack has penetrated the defenses of Saudi Arabia’s massive Abqaiq oil processing facility, the heart of the kingdom’s oil production and export infrastructure, causing an unknown amount of damage. Crude prices will react and emergency stockpiles will be tapped.