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Saudi oil facility attacks to hit SA economy, warns economist

Standard Bank economist Elna Moolman said that the effects would be felt here at home.

A picture taken on 15 September 2019 shows an Aramco oil facility at the edge of the Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - There are warnings that South Africa will not be spared from the impact of the attacks on Saudi Arabian oil plants.

Several projectiles struck two major plants on Saturday, starting a series of fires.

The co-ordinated drone strikes have disrupted about half of the kingdom's oil capacity - that's about 5% of the daily global oil supply.

Oil prices have since surged to a four-month high, hovering above US$66 a barrel.

Standard Bank economist Elna Moolman said that the effects would be felt here at home.

"At this stage, we already have a current account deficit and with oil prices being higher, we would expect the oil import bill to increase further and that will put additional pressure on the current account."

Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthi group has claimed responsibility for the Saudi attacks but the US blamed Iran.

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