Saudi Arabia said on Monday that the attack on its oil facilities was carried out with Iranian weapons, according to a preliminary investigation, but stopped short of directly blaming regional foe Iran. The impact of those missing 5.7 million barrels of daily crude production is already being seen and felt across the world as oil prices soared in the face of the disruption to the global oil supply.
Brent crude LCOc1 futures sank $4.47, or 6.5%, to settle at $64.55 a barrel.
While oil prices climbed (CNN reports that, in the US, it is up 9.8% to more than $60 a barrel, and worldwide oil rose 10.4% to $66.47 a barrel), some stocks fell as investors got nervous about the economic impact.
A senior official from the Trump administration told ABC News that Tehran launched a dozen cruise missiles and more than 20 drones from its territory. If you remember back to Economics 101, lower supply leads to higher prices.
It called Saturday's attack, which resulted in the suspension of approximately 50% of Saudi Aramco's production and was initially blamed on Houthi rebels from neighbouring Yemen, "an unprecedented act of aggression and sabotage" and "egregious crime which threatens worldwide peace and security". Iran called the US claims "maximum lies" and threatened American forces in the region.
"We're evaluating all the evidence. And the president will determine the best course of action in the days ahead", Pence said.
Trump backpedaled on offers to meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at the United Nations next week.
Iran has dismissed his accusations that it is responsible for the weekend strikes, but Trump doubled down on the view, telling reporters at the White House that the United States is "certainly looking that way at this moment".
Tehran rejects the charges it was behind the strikes and on Tuesday ruled out talks with Trump.
Prince Mohammed, Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler, told Esper that Iranian threats "are not only directed to the kingdom, but affect the Middle East and the world", news agency SPA said.
US crude inventories rose by 592,000 barrels in the week ended September 13 to 422.5 million, data from industry group the American Petroleum Institute showed on Tuesday.
Tehran has dismissed the USA accusations as "unacceptable" and said it was ready for a "full-fledged war".