London — The September 14 attacks on Saudi oil infrastructure demonstrated the unprecedented resilience of oil markets, thanks partly to US production, the head of the US State Department's Bureau of Energy Affairs, Frank Fannon said Thursday.
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Speaking at the Oil & Money conference in London, Fannon also said "Indo-Pacific" countries were the ultimate victims of the missile attacks on Saudi oil facilities.
Blaming the attacks on Iran, he said they were an "indictment" of Iran's own reliability as an oil supplier.
The attacks, which initially knocked out 5.7 million b/d of Saudi oil production, showed the kingdom's "professionalism" in restoring supplies, but also "demonstrated that degree of resilience," he said.
"It was an unprecedented attack, but it also underscored an unprecedented degree of resilience in the market," Fannon said.
Asked if he had any concerns about Saudi Arabia's spare oil production capacity, he added: "We continue to monitor markets and we have great confidence in the private sector to meet any market issues."
"US production is providing a whole new level of liquidity to markets," he said, going on to highlight the US' rise as an oil exporter.
Noting the US had become the world's third-largest exporter in three years, he said, "This is still new...We're at the beginning game."
Fannon said countries in the Indo-Pacific region accounted for more than 70% of Saudi oil purchases and that the attacks should deter them from buying Iranian oil, alluding to US sanctions designed to halt Iranian oil exports.
The attack on Saudi Arabia illustrate "that Iran is the worst of potential suppliers," he said.
-- Nick Coleman, firstname.lastname@example.org
-- Edited by Jonathan Fox, email@example.com