Full repairs to the attacked Saudi oil fields may take “many months,” not the 10 weeks that the nation has promised, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The report depicted desperation in Saudi Arabia, more than a week after the attack on the nation’s largest oil-production areas. Officials appear optimistic publicly but are privately in emergency talks on how to repair damage that could cost hundreds of millions of dollars, the report said.
“We are still in a frantic search for spare parts,” an anonymous Saudi official was quoted as saying. The situation is not “as rosy as you might think,” the official said.
The attack cut roughly half the nation’s oil output, which amounts to more than 5% of world supply. The sense of urgency stems not only from restoring the oil flow but also the planned initial public offering of Saudi Aramco.
Yemen’s Houthi rebels have claimed responsibility for the attack, which was carried out with drones, missiles or both. American officials, notably Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, have blamed Iran, and the U.S. has sent a small contingent of troops and materiel to the region to back the Saudis.