Evidence indicates Iranian arms used in Saudi attack, says Saudi-led coalition

Benchmark Brent crude gained almost 20% in the first moments of trading Monday before settling down to over 10% higher as trading continued.

The attack on Saturday was a reciprocal measure by "Yemeni people" to assaults on their country, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said. "There is reason to believe that we know the culprit, are locked and loaded depending on verification, but are waiting to hear from the Kingdom as to who they believe was the cause of this attack, and under what terms we would proceed!"

USA benchmark West Texas crude was up around 8%.

Separately, the Wall Street Journal reported that USA officials had said intelligence indicated Iran was the "staging ground" for the attack and had shared the information with Riyadh.

The attack halted production of 5.7 million barrels of crude a day, more than half of Saudi Arabia's global daily exports and more than 5% of the world's daily crude oil production.

Though the world's overall energy demands in the past were smaller, the Saudi outage has sparked concern among analysts of prices pushing to $80 a barrel and beyond. "What we're seeing now is a movement in the oil price, not just at the front end of the curve but also really out through calendar '20 and '21, which really just means we're seeing a bit of risk premium creep into the oil price", said Randy Ollenberger, managing director of oil and gas equity research at BMO Capital Markets.

The attack on Saudi Arabia's Abqaiq plant and the Khurais oil fields before dawn Saturday, caused massive fires.

Saudi Aramco's full return to normal oil output volumes "may take months", two sources said on Monday.

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The scope and precision of drone attacks on Saudi Arabian oil facilities show they were launched from a west-northwest direction rather than from Yemen to the south, where Houthi rebels claimed responsibility, added senior United States administration officials on Sunday.

Pompeo tweeted that there was "no evidence the attacks came from Yemen".

After Pompeo's assertion, Iranian officials simultaneously denied responsibility for the attacks and issued threats. Iraq is home to Iranian-backed Shiite militias who aided it in its fight against the Islamic State group.

This image provided on September 15, 2019, by the USA government and DigitalGlobe and annotated by the source, shows damage to the infrastructure at Saudi Aramco's Abaqaiq oil processing facility in Buqyaq, Saudi Arabia. Iraqi Premier Adel Abdel-Mahdi said he received a call Monday from Pompeo, without elaborating.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi again denied the United States claims Monday, telling journalists the accusation was "condemned, unacceptable and categorically baseless".

"The Saudi-led coalition has been fueling the flames of war in the region with recurrent acts of aggression against Yemen and committing various war crimes for around five years, while Yemenis have proved that they stand against war and aggression", Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said, according to the state-backed Tasnim News Agency.

In an escalating series of moves, Tehran has sought to counter or undermine those sanctions - attacking a handful of oil tankers, seizing others and their crews and assaulting Saudi oil facilities, according to USA officials. However, the president said he pulled back from retaliating against Iran at the last minute.

Smoke is seen following a fire at an Aramco factory in Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia, on September 14, 2019.

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