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Russia to ramp up security at energy facilities due to drones attacks on Saudi Aramco

The attack on Saudi Aramco facilities affects energy security around the globe, according to the Russian energy minister

MOSCOW, September 16. /TASS/. Russia may re-evaluate and ramp up security at oil production facilities in the country following the attack by drones on facilities of the Saudi Arabian Saudi Aramco, the world’s biggest company in terms of production volumes, Energy Minister Alexander Novak told reporters on Monday.

"There is a law on security at fuel and energy facilities, which stipulates all required protection measures. Such incidents as the attack on Saudi Arabian facilities require a re-evaluation of the current situation. I think we will address that issue as well," he said.

The energy minister added that the attack affects energy security around the globe. Global oil reserves are sufficient to offset losses for crude output due to the incident, Minister Alexander Novak told reporters on Monday.

The minister noted that he plans to hash over the issue with the kingdom’s energy minister, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, later on Monday. "Our colleagues keep in contact with the Saudi side, we are monitoring the situation and believe that attacks on such facilities affect energy security overall," he claimed.

Asked whether Russia needs to offset shortfall in output, he said: "Currently everything depends on estimation of the aftermath by the Saudi colleagues, which will clarify the scale of the impact on production volumes. However, the current global commercial reserves are sufficient for covering that oil shortage in the midterm. Everything will mainly depend on how long the consequences of the failure of the country’s oil infrastructure will last," Novak said, adding that he does not consider it necessary to "assume any urgent measures."

Possibility of an extraordinary meeting of OPEC+ monitoring committee

Russia’s Energy Ministry does not rule out a possibility of conducting an extraordinary meeting of the OPEC+ monitoring committee due to the attack by drones on production facilities of the Saudi Arabian Saudi Aramco, Alexander Novak told reporters on Monday.

"It is always possible, all depends on the estimated influence on the market in the long-term. Let us see how the situation regarding restoration of infrastructure in Saudi Arabia unfolds as [everything] will depend on that," he said when asked about the possibility of an extraordinary meeting of OPEC+.

Meanwhile Russia’s energy minister added that the parameters of the OPEC+ agreement might be revised following the attack. "In case of requirements and force majeure circumstances we can always meet and discuss other parameters. Currently it is too early to speak about that since it is unclear how fast the facilities will be restored. The Saudi side is in the process of evaluating the damage, when the valuation is completed it will be clear, though currently it is highly uncertain," he told reporters on Monday when asked whether the parameters of the agreement might be revised.

Russia and OPEC+ nations agreed earlier to extend production cuts starting July. As part of the deal, Russia reduces oil production by 228,000 barrels per day compared with the level of October 2018, when it amounted to 11,421 mln barrels. In total, OPEC+ countries agreed to slash oil production by 1.2 mln barrels per day, including 812,000 barrels from OPEC countries and 383,000 barrels from non-OPEC states.

The facilities of Saudi Aramco in the east of Saudi Arabia were attacked by ten drones in the small hours on Saturday. Yemeni Houthi rebels from the Ansar Allah movement claimed responsibility for the incident. In particular, the world’s biggest oil refinery near the city of Abqaiq and a refinery near Khurais, where Saudi’s second largest oil field is located, came under the attack.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday citing a source in the government of Saudi Arabia that the country’s authorities expected Saudi Aramco to restore approximately one third of crude output by Monday night.