Oil and Gas

Oil stocks in Asia Pacific surge as drone attacks disrupt Saudi production

Key Points
  • Stocks of oil companies across Asia Pacific jumped Monday morning amid a surge in crude prices.
  • Over the weekend, drone attacks hit the heart of Saudi Arabia's oil production facilities in Abqaiq and Khurais that knocked out about half of Saudi Arabia's crude production.
  • But the increase in oil prices may be mitigated in the near term, according to analysts. 
An Aramco oil facility at the edge of the Saudi capital Riyadh.
Fayez Nureldine | AFP | Getty Images

Stocks of oil companies across Asia Pacific jumped Monday morning, following drone attacks over the weekend that knocked out about half of Saudi Arabia's daily crude production.

In Australia, shares of Beach Energy surged 7.37% while Santos gained 4.06% and Woodside Petroleum jumped 5.01%.

Hong Kong-listed shares of Chinese oil titan Petrochina also soared 5.69% while CNOOC skyrocketed 6.39%. South Korea's S-Oil added 2.31%.

The moves came amid a spike in crude prices, as international benchmark Brent Crude futures surged 9.96% to $66.22 per barrel and U.S. crude futures jumped 8.93% to $59.75 per barrel. Earlier on Monday, Brent spiked beyond 19% to $71.95 a barrel, while U.S. crude jumped more than 15% to a session high of $63.34 a barrel.

Over the weekend, drone attacks hit the heart of Saudi Arabia's oil production facilities in Abqaiq and Khurais claimed by Yemen's Houthi rebels. That knocked out 5.7 million barrels of daily crude production — or 50% of the kingdom's oil output. That's more than 5% of global daily oil production.

Abqaiq is the world's largest oil processing facility and crude oil stabilization plant with a processing capacity of more than 7 million barrels per day.

National oil company Saudi Aramco is attempting to restore about a third of its crude output by Monday following the attacks, the Wall Street Journal reported Sunday.

Oil stockpiles

The increase in oil prices is unlikely to be sustained, says David Lennox, resources analyst at Fat Prophets.

"We've probably seen the best of the oil price rise today," he told CNBC's "Street Signs" on Monday. 

"We really can't see any real significant change in the longer-term oil price because of this," he added. "We do believe that ... they will start to actually repair that facility fairly quickly."

U.S. President Donald Trump said Sunday he has authorized the release of oil from America's strategic petroleum reserve if required.

"We've also seen higher domestic production in the U.S. and of course, we've got (the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) itself, there are other members that ... aren't producing at capacity," Lennox said.

"If we do see a significant period of time where the Saudis are out of action or half of their production is out of action, there will be some offset coming from other OPEC members because they've been quite compliant between 29 and 30 million barrels and we know they can go higher," he added.

The latest development came amid ongoing supply curbs by OPEC, which in early July announced its decision — along with several non-OPEC producers including Russia — to curb output into 2020 in an effort to boost prices amid a weakening demand outlook and rising shale production in the United States.

Saudi Arabia has taken on the lion's share of the cuts, pumping less than 10 million barrels per day of crude, significantly below its OPEC production target.

"The ability of oil producers to dip into stock piles to smooth the oil price may mitigate some of the rise in the near term, however, the bigger issue is what premium markets will build in to reflect the risk of further attacks," Kerry Craig, global market strategist at J.P. Morgan Asset Management, wrote in a note.

"Energy names will benefit from an expected higher oil price, but the steady rotation in cyclical sectors may be harmed," he said. "This may particularly be the case for oil importing economies in Asia and the currencies of those countries could come under stress."

— CNBC's Natasha Turak contributed to this report.