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Saudi oil strike | Where is crude headed and how worried should India be?

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 Substantial supply disruptions, post attacks on Saudi oil field
- Crude oil prices soar in trade
- Iran the main suspect behind the attacks, geopolitical tension escalating
- US orders release of strategic oil reserve to ease supply issues
- Huge inventory and spare capacity to make up for lost barrels
- In the short term, India could feel the heat

The disruptive weekend attacks on Saudi Arabian oil fields have left oil prices rocketing and geopolitical environment tensed. With around 60 percent of the kingdom’s output at stake and disruption in nearly 6 percent of the world oil production, there have been talks of further price surge. In the event of any further geopolitical action and escalation, near-term firming up in crude prices cannot be ruled out.

While the prices would remain elevated in the near term, we see prices to normalise in the absence of retaliatory action. Though the extent of damage and the restoration period is unknown at present, we do believe that there is capacity in the global markets that would be willing to grab the lost barrels. Large inventories, spare capacity and strategic reserves could also provide some cushion. This would enable normalisation of the crude supply sooner than anticipated right now.n the shorter term, however, elevated crude prices could stand as a negative for Indian downstream oil and gas companies that source a major portion of their supply from the international market, which could get costly now. It would also mean higher raw material costs and lower margins for allied sector companies. However, higher crude price could bring short-lived respite for upstream oil and gas producers.

Nearly 60 percent of Saudi production at stake

In the early hours of September 14, 10 unmanned aerial vehicles struck the world’s biggest crude-processing facility in Abqaiq and oil fields in Khurais, triggering huge fires. Saudi Aramco, the kingdom’s state-owned oil company, said the attack has impacted nearly 60 percent of the kingdom's output and the company had to suspend around 5.7 million barrels from its production. This accounts for almost 6 percent of the world oil production. The price of Brent crude, the international benchmark, rose by more than 10 percent in the early hours of trading.