In an unprecedented 21 March statement, Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that “the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia declares that it will not incur any responsibility for any shortage in oil supplies to global markets in light of the attacks on its oil facilities from the Iranian-backed terrorist Houthi militias.” The announcement came as Yemen’s Houthi militants have stepped up rocket attacks on Saudi Arabia and the UAE in recent weeks.

Traditionally, Riyadh has sought to downplay the threat posed by the Houthis to its critical oil and gas facilities, instead focusing on the kingdom’s ability to tap into its spare capacity should any of its assets sustain damage. Certainly Saudi Aramco deserves enormous credit for the speed at which it was able to restore production following the September 2019 attack on the Abqaiq processing facility which temporarily knocked out 5.7mn b/d (MEES, 20 September 2019). (CONTINUED - 1341 WORDS)