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Trump authorizes release of oil from strategic petroleum reserve after attacks on Saudi oil facilities

Xinhua | Updated: 2019-09-16 08:06
Fires burn in the distance after a drone strike by Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthi group on Saudi company Aramco's oil processing facilities, in Buqayq, Saudi Arabia September 14, 2019 in this still image taken from a social media video. [Photo/Agencies]

WASHINGTON - US President Donald Trump said on Sunday that he has authorized the release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve after attacks on Saudi Arabian oil production facilities.

"Based on the attack on Saudi Arabia, which may have an impact on oil prices, I have authorized the release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, if needed, in a to-be-determined amount sufficient to keep the markets well-supplied," Trump tweeted.

"I have also informed all appropriate agencies to expedite approvals of the oil pipelines currently in the permitting process in Texas and various other States," the president added.

The move came after drone attacks on Saudi Arabian oil production facilities on Saturday have raised global concerns over oil supplies.

The drone attacks were reported at dawn of Saturday with several explosions on Saudi Aramco plants in Khurais and Abqaiq in the east of the country, resulting in fires that were later controlled.

Saudi Arabian Energy Minister Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud announced on Sunday that the drone attacks caused temporary suspension of production at targeted oil plants.

According to Aramco, after Saturday's attacks, Saudi Arabia saw production cut by 5.7 million barrels, or about 50 percent of the company's daily production.

The country's total production hovers around 10 million barrels per day, with an average of 9.85 million barrels per day in August, data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration show.

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