Saudi Arabia says the oil facility hit by drones and missiles will be fully functional again in 12 days

Prince abdulaziz bin Salman Saudi Energy oil strike drone


Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, Saudi Energy Minister, speaking to a press conference on Tuesday evening.

Saudi Arabia says its flagship oil facility, ravaged by drone and missile strikes on Saturday, will return to full production capacity by the end of September, in just 12 days time.

"Over the past two days we have contained the damage and restored more than half of the production that was down as a result of the terrorist attack," Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said on Tuesday.Advertisement

The attack wiped about 5% of the world's daily production of crude oil, equal to about 5.7 million barrels.

Saudi Arabia is yet to formally accuse anyone of carrying out the attack, but US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo firmly blamed it on Iran.

Saudi media oil attack Prince Abdulaziz


Saudi press jostle for photographs at a press conference led by Saudi energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman on Tuesday.

Read more: China could be the biggest loser from the Saudi Arabia oil attack
Business Insider's Rosie Perper previously reported that the kingdom is using some of its 187 million barrels of oil it keeps in reserve, which can cover about 28 days of global exports, to fill the gap left by the attack.Advertisement

While the Aramco facility could be firing on all cylinders by the end of September, Saudi Arabia's total oil production capacity - 12 million barrels a day - will not return until November, the prince said.

FILE - In this Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019 file photo, a satellite image from Planet Labs Inc. shows thick black smoke rising from Saudi Aramco's Abqaiq oil processing facility in Buqyaq, Saudi Arabia. The assault on the beating heart of Saudi Arabia's vast oil empire follows a new and dangerous pattern that's emerged across the Persian Gulf this summer of precise attacks that leave few obvious clues of who launched them. (Planet Labs Inc via AP, File)

Associated Press

A satellite image from Planet Labs Inc. shows thick black smoke rising from Saudi Aramco's Abqaiq oil processing facility in Buqyaq, Saudi Arabia, on September 14.

Speaking after Prince Abdulaziz, Saudi Aramco CEO Amin Nasser reaffirmed the prince's pledge that the facility's production capacity will be back to normal by the end of September.Advertisement

Read more: These 'kamikaze' drones were claimed to be the culprits of the attack on Saudi oil fields. Here's what we know about them.

"Not a single shipment to an international customer has been or will be missed or canceled as a result of these attacks," he said.

"We have proven that we are operationally resilient and have confirmed our reputation as the world's leading supplier." Advertisement

Nasser said Aramco is currently calculating the cost of repairs, but said the bill was "not that significant."

Yasir Al-Rumayyan, chairman of Saudi Aramco, later told the press conference the company's initial public offering (IPO), which is expected to be the largest ever, is "surely going forward" within the next 12 months.Advertisement

"These acts of sabotage that took place will not stop the the company," he said.

US officials told NBC News on Tuesday that low-altitude cruise missiles which hit the Aramco plant were fired from sites in western Iran.Advertisement

Global markets spiralled after news of the attack broke, with the price of oil spiking 20% to almost $63 per barrel when markets opened on Monday.

It has since shed around 7% of that value, and is trading at $58.80 on Wednesday, up from around $54.85 before the attack.