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Abu Dhabi / New York (CNN Business) - Oil prices, which have remained low for months, could rise when markets open on Monday while Saudi Arabia struggles to repair damage to its energy infrastructure inflicted this weekend.
Coordinated attacks on key oil facilities in Saudi Arabia interrupted approximately half of the kingdom's oil capacity, or 5% of the world's daily oil supply. Yemen's Houthi rebels assumed responsibility for attacks on Saudi Aramco's oil facilities in Khurais and Abqaiq on Saturday, the world's largest oil processing plant and crude oil stabilization plant.
Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said that 5.7 million barrels a day of crude oil and gas production have been affected. The latest OPEC figures put Saudi Arabia's total production at 9.8 million barrels per day.
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The US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, blamed Iran on Saturday for the attack, a country that supports the Houthi rebels, calling it "an unprecedented attack on the world's energy supply." Iran, under US sanctions on its oil industry, has denied any participation.
"Events in Saudi Arabia have increased tensions in the Middle East to a new level that raises concerns about security of supply," said Chris Midgley, global head of analysis at S&P Global Platts in a statement. "The sudden change in geopolitical risk" could make oil prices rise between $ 5 and $ 10 per barrel, Midgley said.
Oil prices have been low recently. Brent, the global benchmark, closed at $ 60.22 per barrel this Friday. The price closely followed in the United States, known as WTI, closed at $ 54.85.
Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil exporter, had reduced the production of crude oil and other energy products as part of an OPEC effort to increase prices. The kingdom produces approximately 10% of the total global supply of 100 million barrels per day.
Other analysts expect a smaller rebound in the oil market in the short term. "A small premium of 2-3 dollars per barrel would arise if the damage seems to be a problem that can be resolved quickly, and 10 dollars if the damage to the Aramco facilities is significant," Ayham Kamal of the Eurasia Group said in a note of investigation.
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Two other analysts told CNN Business that they believe prices could jump $ 15 per barrel due to the amount of Saudi oil affected by the attacks.
Saudi Arabia's energy minister said officials are "working to recover lost quantities" of oil and will update the public within two days. Regional sources in the Middle East estimate that Saudi Aramco has about 200 million barrels stored in Amsterdam, Japan and China.
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The attacks occur when Saudi Aramco is taking measures to go public in what could be the largest IPO in the world. Aramco attracted great interest with its debut in the international sale of bonds in April. He commissioned an independent audit of the kingdom's oil reserves and began publishing profits. In the last two weeks, the kingdom has replaced its energy minister and the president of Aramco.
"The attacks could complicate Aramco's IPO plans given the increasing security risks and the potential impact on their value," said Kamal.
Saudi Arabia and Iran Drone Attacks