S.Korea to mull release of strategic oil reserves after attacks on Saudi oil facilities

Source: Xinhua| 2019-09-17 11:31:36|Editor: Yamei
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SEOUL, Sept. 17 (Xinhua) -- South Korea will mull the release of strategic oil reserves if supply disruption is prolonged after the recent drone attacks on oil production facilities in eastern Saudi Arabia, the country's vice finance minister said Tuesday.

Kim Yong-beom, the first vice minister of economy and finance, told a meeting with relevant officials that the government will promptly take measures to stabilize oil supply by releasing strategic oil reserves and inventories owned by the government and the private sector if oil supply situation worsens.

Kim said the country required preparations for the possible prolongation of oil supply disruption, vowing to secure alternative sources of oil import in consultation with domestic oil refiners if necessary.

The comment came after bomb-laden drones hit two oil production facilities of Saudi oil giant Aramco on Saturday. Yemen's Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for the attacks.

The attacks reportedly affected about half of the Saudi oil production. Saudi Arabia is South Korea's top oil supplier, with almost 30 percent of South Korea's oil imports last year coming from the Middle East country.

The vice minister said the Saudi situations would have a limited impact on the South Korean economy for the time being as there would be no big disruption of oil supply here over the short run.

He said that Saudi crude oil had been imported under the long-term contract, adding that no big disruption had yet to be found from domestic oil refiners.