Total CEO: Attack on Saudi oil facilities will have consequences

Total CEO Patrick Pouyanne attends a hearing of French parliament’s economic commission at the National Assembly in Paris, France, September 17, 2019. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

PARIS (Reuters) – Total (TOTF.PA) CEO Patrick Pouyanne said on Tuesday last weekend’s attacks on Saudi oil production facilities will have consequences, adding that he feared the situation in the Middle East might deteriorate further.

“Launching an attack on half of Saudi Arabia’s oil production will have consequences (…) I fear this major attack will not be left without retaliation. We don’t know where all this will end”, he said during a scheduled parliamentary hearing in Paris.

Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi rebels said they attacked two plants at the heart of Saudi Arabia’s oil industry on Saturday, knocking out more than half the Kingdom’s output and triggering the biggest jump in oil prices in almost 30 years.

But Pouyanne played down the consequences of that spike on France’s domestic fuel prices.

“Yesterday oil prices gained 10 percent, today they are losing four percent (…) We’ll see how all this evens out.”

Pointing out that oil prices were on a downward trend before the attacks, Total’s CEO said he had heard the French government’s call urging oil companies to show moderation on retail prices.

Reporting by Benoit Van Overstraeten ; Editing by Christian Lowe

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