Canadas fuel prices to rise after attack in Saudi Arabia – Canadian Cattlemen

Canada\s fuel prices to rise after attack in Saudi Arabia - Canadian Cattlemen
Trump: It looks like Iran hit Saudi Arabian oil facilities
The secure supply of Canadian oil to the United States could recapture the attention of American decision-makers following the recent attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities, experts say.   

Industry and government leaders around the world are still assessing the impact of Saturday's drone strikes on the state-owned Saudi Aramco facilities. 

“The unprecedented outage over the weekend would have been a boon for Canadian crude if the TMX pipeline was operational given the close proximity to Asia,” Tran wrote. “The ability to move Canadian crude to fill a supply gap does not only bring financial benefits for Canada, but also serves the world from an energy security perspective.”

Video: Trump on Saudi oilfield attack: U.S. is locked and loaded

The news also saw Canadian energy stocks surge by double digits during Monday's trading amid concerns the impact on oil markets could last months. 

Varcoe: Saudi oil attack bolsters crude and share prices, but highlights Canadas limitations

Canadian crude — overshadowed by soaring U.S. shale oil production in recent years — could receive greater focus with renewed discussion about secure energy supplies, said Rory Johnston,  a commodity economist at Scotiabank.

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"Historically, we've seen more of the sentiment toward the Canadian oil sector as being couched in terms of oil security, which as a concept has kind of fallen by the wayside," Johnston said. 

Long answer, long term: We’ll have to wait and see. The attack took about five per cent of global oil production offline over the weekend. That’s half of Saudi Arabia’s exports and 5.7 million barrels of oil per day. (Alberta, for comparison, produced 2.8 million barrels per day in 2017.)

Satellite photos: Saudi Aramco oil field after suspected drone attack

"This will likely raise that energy security narrative back to the forefront of public discussion, which all else equal, should benefit the Canadian oilpatch as a source of secure supply — politically secure and right next door to the United States."

Still, Alberta Energy got in on this: “With the third-largest oil reserves, Canada can do much to supplant high-risk sources overseas. But our country actually needs to build pipelines to help supply a world economy hungry for reliable sources of energy, said a written statement. 

While Canadian pipeline constraints make it difficult for oil companies to get more Alberta oil to market currently, Johnston said, a shift in the conversation could fuel further political pressure to build projects like Keystone XL, which has struggled in the face of legal, environmental and political challenges in the U.S.

"It wouldn't necessarily accelerate the timeline of these types of projects being built," he said. 

The United States keeps 695 million barrels of oil in underground caverns in Texas and Louisiana just for this purpose — to stabilize oil prices in case of catastrophe. (The U.S. will use these as necessary, the Trump administration said.)

Saudi Oil Shock Unites China With Asia Rivals Worried About War

"I think what this does is just lessens the risk that we're going to see further delays."

“It is the biggest shock to the oil markets since (Hurricane) Katrina. And, like Katrina, it will likely haunt us for months, at least weeks,” Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst for the Oil Price Information Service, told CNN.

Aberta Premier Jason Kenney, who was in New York on Monday to meet with institutional investors, also emphasized the message that Alberta is "the most secure major source of energy" in the world.

“(The attack is) a bit of a reminder for the crude oil buyers and sellers that there is still geopolitical risk in the Middle East,” said Fogwill. “When you get a period of calm, people tend to forget that.”

Kenney was also reported Monday to be looking at easing mandatory oil production cuts in Alberta following those attacks.

While Canada is the world’s fourth-largest oil producer and has the world’s third-largest crude reserves, domestic companies are limited in their ability to increase exports and fill any gaps created by Saturday’s attack on Saudi Arabia’s Abqaiq oil processing centre.

American interest in secure supplies of oil from Canada was particularly strong after the terror attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, said Christopher Sands, an expert on energy policy at Johns Hopkins University in Washington, D.C.

Oil currencies, dollar buoyed as Saudi attacks keep crude elevated

Sands said the situation with Saudi Arabia may have Americans looking at Alberta, but it could underscore for some lawmakers how important it is Canada build on its own pipeline capacity and ensure security of its oil.

Video: Saudi Arabias oil output decimated by drone attack

"You don't have enough capacity, and this makes us think you need redundant capacity because what if something goes wrong?" said Sands, adding that ensuring the security of existing energy infrastructure is key.

Tim McMillan, president of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, said the current situation in Saudi Arabia may provide more incentive to expedite projects like Keystone XL and Enbridge's Line 3, which would carry more oil from Alberta to the U.S.

“Everybody will get a little extra cash flow, but I don’t think you’ll see a bunch of companies forecast higher prices for next year yet,” said Tamarack Valley Energy CEO Brian Schmidt, whose company’s share price climbed 11 per cent on Monday.

But he added that even with President Donald Trump "pushing these projects, it has been a challenge with the U.S. court system and some of the other delay tactics that opponents are using."

“It will mean higher prices and that means more revenue and cash flow for producers of oil. We think those producers are still going to be very guarded with what they do with the cash,” said Peter Tertzakian, executive director of ARC Energy Research Institute.

Though McMillan said he's confident those projects will be built, he added he was "less confident" that the U.S. legal system will move any faster.

The immediate consequences of Saturday’s attack — rising oil markets and share prices — serve as a reminder that global oil markets have long been influenced by geopolitical risk factors, even if oil markets have discounted such issues in recent years.

"But why on earth is Canada so beholden to the United States when we have the world's second-largest coastlines, where we have a close connection to the growing markets in Asia?" he added.

While Canadian producers still face challenges in getting oil to market, whether by pipeline or by rail, Ian Nieboer, managing director at RS Energy Group, said they should benefit from higher oil prices. 

Other supply problems have cropped up in recent years, such as the sharp reduction of Venezuelan heavy crude exports into the U.S., creating opportunities for Canada’s producers, but they couldn’t be met because of ongoing pipeline bottlenecks.

US consumers will see sticker shock at the gas pump after attacks on Saudi oil facilities, analyst predicts

"The outage itself and its duration is probably the first and most pronounced fundamental impact," he said.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies told the AP the stabilization area is full of “storage tanks and processing and compressor trains — which greatly increases the likelihood of a strike successfully disrupting or destroying its operations.”

"The longer term and more structural piece is, is there some sort of risk premium [on oil prices] that maybe enters the market as you think about the politics of the Middle East and now really the circumstances that led to this weekend's attack," Nieboer said.

As for gasoline prices, Roger McKnight, chief petroleum analyst at En-Pro International, says it likely means higher gasoline prices in Canada as early as Wednesday. He said it's unclear how long it's going to last.

Oil prices on Monday spiked to their highest levels in six months, according to Reuters. Business Insiders Yusuf Khan reported that Brent Crude prices shot up 20% before settling to 8% above previous levels.

We have no idea … where this thing is going to go because it's completely out of anyone's control.- Roger McKnight, chief petroleum analyst at En-Pro International "We have no idea … where this thing is going to go because it's completely out of anyone's control," McKnight said.

The satellite image below shows the “stabilization area” of the Abqaiq facility. The area is where oil pumped out of the ground is treated in order to make it safe to move around the world via tanker ship.

"And the Saudis are going to keep things kind of close to the vest because they don't want to really upset the market completely. But the facts are facts. Five per cent of crude supply goes off the market, and prices have to go up."

This image provided on Sunday by the US government and DigitalGlobe, shows damage to the infrastructure at at Saudi Aramcos Khurais oil field in Buqyaq, Saudi Arabia.Associated Press

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Oil security fears after Saudi Arabia attack | Business

WASHINGTON — U.S. President Donald Trump declared Monday it "looks" like Iran was behind the explosive attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities. But he stressed that military retaliation was not yet on the table in response to the strike against a key U.S. Mideast ally.

The images, provided by the US government to the Associated Press (AP), show 17 impact sites at Saudi Aramcos Abqaiq oil plant and two at the Khurais oil field on Sunday.

Video: Gas prices poised to rise after weekend Saudi oil field attack

Oil prices soared worldwide amid the damage in Saudi Arabia and fresh Middle East war concerns. But Trump put the brakes on any talk of quick military action — earlier he had said the U.S. was "locked and loaded" — and he said the oil impact would not be significant on the U.S., which is a net energy exporter.

The Saudi government called the attack an "unprecedented act of aggression and sabotage" but stopped short of directly pinning blame on Iran.

The oil price gyrations have somewhat overshadowed this weeks headline event, the Federal Reserves meeting on interest rates. Investors are confident the central bank will cut short-term rates by a quarter of a percentage point to a range of 1.75% to 2%. It would be the second such cut in two months, as the Fed tries to protect the economy from a global slowdown and the effects of the U.S.-China trade war.

Trump, who has repeatedly stressed avoiding new Middle East wars, seemed intent on preserving room to manoeuvr in a crisis that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had immediately called Irans fault. Pompeo said Saturday, "Iran has now launched an unprecedented attack on the worlds energy supply."

Trump, too, had talked more harshly at first. But by Monday afternoon he seemed intent on consultations with allies.

"It wasnt an attack on us, but we would certainly help them," he said, noting a decades-long alliance linked to U.S. oil dependence that has lessened in recent years. The U.S. has no treaty obligation to defend Saudi Arabia.

Trump said he was sending Pompeo to Saudi Arabia "to discuss what they feel" about the attack and an appropriate response.

The weekend attack on Saudi Arabias biggest crude processing facility halted production of 5.7 million barrels of crude a day, more than half of the countrys global daily exports and more than 5% of the worlds daily crude oil production.

One U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations, said the U.S. was considering dispatching additional military resources to the Gulf but that no decisions had been made. The U.S. already has the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier battle group in the area, as well as fighter jets, bombers, reconnaissance aircraft and air defences.

Moodys said in a statement that the protests and their handling showed weaknesses in Hong Kongs institutions. The turmoil was “damaging its attractiveness as a trade and financial hub,” it said.

Trump, alternating between aggressive and nonviolent reactions, said the U.S. could respond "with an attack many, many times larger" but also "Im not looking at options right now."

Japans Nikkei 225 index recovered from early losses to edge 0.1% higher, closing at 22,001.32. South Koreas Kospi was flat at 2,062.33 and the S&P ASX/200 in Sydney added 0.3% to 6,695.30.

American officials released satellite images of the damage at the heart of the kingdoms crucial Abqaiq oil processing plant and a key oil field, and two U.S. officials said the attackers used multiple cruise missiles and drone aircraft.

The U.S. and international benchmarks for crude fell back slightly after vaulting more than 14% overnight after an attack on Saudi Arabias largest oil processing plant.

Evidence, not proof, of who hit Saudi Arabias Aramco oil refinery

Private experts said the satellite images show the attackers had detailed knowledge of which tanks and machinery to hit within the sprawling Saudi oil processing facility at Abqaiq to cripple production. But "satellite imagery cant show you where the attack originated from," said Joe Bermudez, an expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies who examined the images.

"What the photos indicate is that someone planned a sophisticated, co-ordinated attack that really impacted the production of oil at this facility," he said.

The U.S. alleges the pattern of destruction suggested Saturdays attack did not come from neighbouring Yemen, as claimed by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels there. A Saudi military alleged "Iranian weapons" had been used.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has already been under pressure from U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to join naval patrols in the Strait of Hormuz, a demand that risks prompting renewed attacks that Abe was deadset on undermining Japans pacifist constitution. Around 57% of the public were against any Japanese deployment to Hormuz compared to just 28% in favor, according to a poll published by Kyodo News.

The Saudis invited United Nations and other international experts to help investigate, suggesting there was no rush to retaliate.

While all four of Asias biggest economies have sought to balance ties between Saudi Arabia and Iran, only China isnt strictly complying with American sanctions against the country. India, previously one of the worlds biggest importers of Iranian crude, had already reluctantly curtailed oil shipments from Tehran — a painful choice given Irans close proximity to its western coast.

Oil Market Gripped With Uncertainty Over Lost Saudi Production

Jon Alterman, the chief Middle East expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said the Saudi caution reflects the kingdoms wariness of taking on Iran.

With the U.S. already blaming Iran for a devastating drone strike on a key oil facility in Saudi Arabia, American allies in the region like Japan and South Korea — as well as emerging partners such as India — may find themselves under pressure to go along with whatever President Donald Trump decides to do next. But their main goal will be to ensure any response is measured.

"I dont think theres a great independent Saudi capability to respond," he said. "You dont want to start a war with Iran that you dont have an idea how youre going to end."

In New York, the new U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Kelly Craft, condemned the attack and said that "emerging information indicates that responsibility lies with Iran."

Indias oil ministry said Riyadh has assured them there would be no shortage of supplies, while the foreign ministry said it condemned the attacks on Saudi Arabia. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who won re-election in May but is now struggling with a sharp economic slowdown, is one of the most vulnerable in Asia to a sudden spike in oil prices.

At the Pentagon, Defence Secretary Mark Esper suggested Iranian involvement, too. In a series of tweets after meeting with Trump and other senior national security officials, Esper said the administration was working with partner nations "to address this unprecedented attack and defend the international rules-based order that is being undermined by Iran."

Iran rejected the allegations, and a government spokesman said there now is "absolutely no chance" of a hoped-for meeting between Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Trump at the U.N. General Assembly next week.

In South Korea, the foreign ministry said the attack on Saudi Arabia undermined global energy security and stability in the region. The countrys president, Moon Jae-In, ordered an emergency meeting to minimize the impact on supplies and domestic prices, the government said in a statement.

"Currently we dont see any sign from the Americans which has honesty in it, and if the current state continues there will be absolutely no chance of a meeting between the two presidents," spokesman Ali Rabiei said.

If youre in a cabinet office in any one of these countries in Northeast Asia, youre going to think about diversification, he added. This is exactly the sort of contingency that China will say its been strategically hedging by creating this sort of infrastructure.

Downplaying any talk of imminent U.S. military action, Vice-President Mike Pences chief of staff, Marc Short, told reporters at the White House that Trumps "locked and loaded" was "a broad term that talks about the realities that" the U.S. is "safer and more secure domestically from energy independence."

Trump says US response to oil attack depends on Saudi Arabias assessment

The new violence has led to fears that further action on any side could rapidly escalate a confrontation thats been raging just below the surface in the wider Persian Gulf in recent months. There already have been mysterious attacks on oil tankers that Washington blames on Tehran, at least one suspected Israeli strike on Shiite forces in Iraq, and the downing of a U.S. military surveillance drone by Iran.

Those tensions have increased ever since Trump pulled the U.S. out of Irans 2015 agreement with world powers that curtailed Iranian nuclear activities and the U.S. re-imposed sanctions that sent Irans economy into freefall.

The weekend attack halted production of 5.7 million barrels of crude a day, more than half of Saudi Arabias global daily exports and more than 5% of the worlds daily crude oil production.

The U.S. and international benchmarks for crude each vaulted more than 14%, comparable to the 14.5% spike in oil on Aug. 6, 1990, following Iraqs invasion of Kuwait.

US launch stunning attack after blaming Iran for Saudi oil attack – Were prepared!

U.S. stocks were down but only modestly. Major stock indexes in Europe also fell. Markets in Asia finished mixed.

At a news conference, Saudi military spokesman Col. Turki al-Maliki said, "All the indications and operational evidence, and the weapons that were used in the terrorist attack, whether in Buqayq or Khurais, indicate with initial evidence that these weapons are Iranian weapons."

Russias Foreign Ministry, while expressing "grave concern" about the attack, warned against putting the blame on Iran, saying that plans of military retaliation against Iran would be unacceptable.

AP Writers Jon Gambrell and Aya Batrawy contributed from Dubai, United Arab Emirates. AP writers Zeke Miller and Michael Biesecker contributed from Washington, Tali Arbel from New York, Elaine Kurtenbach from Bangkok, Nasser Karimi from Tehran, Dave Rising from Berlin, Samy Magdy from Cairo and Qassim Abdul-Zahra from Baghdad.