Thursday 3 October 2019 4:11 pm

Saudi energy minister: Oil output restored after attack

Saudi Arabia’s energy minister said his country has managed to restore all the oil output that was lost when a series of drone strikes pummelled part of its infrastructure last month.

Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said capacity stands at 11.3m barrels of oil a day, roughly the same as before the attacks.

Read more: Petrol prices fell even as drones struck Saudi oil

“We rose to the challenge,” he told a conference in Moscow earlier.

“We have stabilised production capacity, we are at 11.3 … We still have the kit and the tools to overcome any future challenges.”

The country will now focus on listing its state oil company Saudi Aramco, the newly appointed minister said.

Around 20 banks have been appointed to help sell the company to international shareholders. The international initial public offering is expected to happen next year or in 2021, however it will be preceded by a smaller IPO in Riyadh where the company will sell one per cent of its shares.

Aramco is wholly owned by the Saudi government and its massive dividends are a key component of government funding.

The kingdom has decided to sell off part of the company in a bid to raise cash which can be invested to diversify its economy away from coal.

The country has not revealed how much oil is left in its reservoirs, but as the world plans to eventually move away from fossil fuels it needs new revenue sources.

It was on 14 September that several Iranian-made drones hit refineries deep in Saudi Arabia. The attacks knocked out around half of the country’s capacity – or approximately five per cent of global supply.

Read more: Saudi Aramco to pay out $75bn dividend as it courts investors ahead of IPO

The country and its allies in Europe and the US have pointed the finger of blame at Iran for the attack. However the Iranians deny involvement. They say that the blame lies with Houthi fighters in Yemen whom Saudi Arabia has been bombing for years.

Oil prices fell 1.4 per cent today, they are cheaper than the days before the attack.