From the Korean Peninsula, to the Ukraine borders, to Taiwan and now the Middle East and many other parts of the globe, it seems that every day now I am reading that war is about to break out.
With the U.S. mid-term elections just days away now, it seems that the entire world is on edge.
Earlier this week the Wall Street Journal reported that Saudi Arabia had shared intelligence with the U.S. about an imminent attack on their oil fields by Iran.
With oil prices set to soar after the midterms as the SPR drain ends and markets no longer have desperate democrats to help fulfill their immediate energy needs, moments ago the WSJ unveiled another potential oil price powder keg, so to speak, when it reported that according to Saudi and U.S. officials, Saudi Arabia has shared intelligence with the U.S. warning of an imminent attack from Iran on targets in the kingdom, putting the American military and others in the Middle East on an elevated alert level.
The report goes on to note that Iran is poised to carry out attacks on both the kingdom and Erbil, Iraq, in an effort to distract attention from domestic protests that have roiled the country since September.
In response to the warning, Saudi Arabia – which until recently was on the Biden admin “naughty list” after the crown prince snubbed Biden’s demands for no OPEC+ output cut – the U.S. and several other neighboring states have raised the level of alert for their military forces, the officials said. They didn’t provide more details on the Saudi intelligence.
Separately, the White House National Security Council said it was concerned about the warnings and ready to respond if Iran carried out an attack.
“We are concerned about the threat picture, and we remain in constant contact through military and intelligence channels with the Saudis,” said a National Security Council spokesperson. “We will not hesitate to act in the defense of our interests and partners in the region.”
It wasn’t exactly clear how attacking Saudi Arabia and launching a war with a far better armed opponent would “distract attention” from Iran’s internal troubles, but what is very clear is that if Saudi Arabia wanted to send the oil price soaring, it wouldn’t use another OPEC+ cut but would simply take production offline indefinitely; and if it can arrange Iran to help out… well, why not.
Iran has allegedly attacked northern Iraq with dozens of ballistic missiles and armed drones in recent weeks, one of which was shot down by a U.S. warplane as it headed toward the city of Erbil, where American troops are based. Tehran has publicly blamed Iranian Kurdish separatist groups based there for fomenting the unrest at home.
Iranian authorities have also publicly accused Saudi Arabia, along with the U.S. and Israel, of instigating the demonstrations.
While there is no indication at this point that this report is anything more than just Intel agency jawboning and propaganda, if it does in fact escalate into another Persian Gulf powderkeg, watch how high the price of oil will shoot to. (Full article.)
Earlier today it was reported that a Telegram channel belonging to Iran posted a simulated attack on Saudi Arabia.
An article published on the blog of international Arabic news television channel Al Arabiya on Thursday claims that an Iran state-linked Telegram channel has posted a video purportedly showing a simulated attack on Saudi Arabia.
Al Arabiya says the video was posted by an IRGC-affiliated Telegram channel with over 350,000 subscribers, and shows a simulated drone attack against Saudi Arabia national oil company, Saudi Aramco’s, oil facilities.
On Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Saudi Arabia had shared intelligence with Washington warning of an imminent attack from Iran against the Kingdom. Iran has rubbished these claims, terming reports of Iranian threats against Saudi Arabia as “baseless accusations.”
If true, the alleged imminent attacks have a recent precedent.
Three years ago, Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthis launched a drone attack on Aramco oil facilities in Eastern Saudi Arabia, cutting Saudi oil production in half and taking off a good 5% of global supply off the market. The claims add a fresh twist to the Russian war on Ukraine considering that Russia has been using Iranian drones in Ukraine. Just a day ago, CNN reported that Iran is getting ready to send ~1,000 additional weapons, including more attack drones and surface-to-surface short range ballistic missiles, to Russia.
The new alleged intelligence of a potential Iranian attack on Saudi oil facilities comes as the U.S. is in the middle of a heated debate about defense provisions for Saudi Arabia. Earlier in October, Democrats were calling for the suspension of transfers of Patriot missiles to Saudi Arabia, as relations continued to sour.
Shortly afterwards, U.S. President Joe Biden condemned the decision by OPEC+ to cut oil production by 2 million barrels per day, lambasting Saudi Arabia and the cartel for taking sides with Russia. Biden vowed to “consult with Congress” on ways to “reduce OPEC’s control over energy prices,” bringing the specter of the NOPEC bill, once again, to the forefront. (Full article.)
I lived in Dhahran in Saudi Arabia in the mid-1990s, right next to the ARAMCO oil company, and the U.S. military presence was everywhere. If it is similar today, I can hardly believe that Iran would be foolish enough to start bombing what is basically an outpost of the U.S. military, but who knows.
One thing is for certain, Big Oil is profitable again in spite of the Green Agenda.
The two largest US energy majors just had blowout quarters, with Exxon posting its strongest quarterly result in the company’s 152-year history including its highest ever net income, while #2 Chevron reported its second-largest profit; the two companies amassed more than $30 billion in combined net income… (Full article.)(Source)