Pakistan condemns drone attacks on oil pumping stations in Saudi Arabia

Pump jacks operate at sunset in an oilfield in Texas

On Monday, a USA official familiar with US intelligence had said Iran was a leading candidate for having carried out attacks on the four tankers but that the United States did not have conclusive proof Tehran was behind them.

Houthi-run Masirah TV earlier said the group had carried out drone attacks on "vital" Saudi installations in response to "continued aggression and blockade" on Yemen.

"There could be a pretty serious conflict with Iran should they do something to USA forces in the region, and that would spike the price of oil", said Josh Graves, senior commodities strategist at RJO Futures in Chicago.

Iran and the US have engaged in a war of words in recent weeks since Tehran began to roll back commitments set out in a landmark 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates intervened in the Yemen war to bolster the internationally recognized government's efforts against the Huthis in March 2015. "Our goal is to respond to the crimes they are committing everyday against the Yemeni people".

The Saudi tankers Al-Marzoqah and Amjad suffered "significant damage" in the as-yet unexplained sabotage attacks in the Sea of Oman on Sunday, Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said, but there were no casualties or oil spills.

Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia and Shi'ite majority Iran are regional rivals and oil from the kingdom was expected to compensate for the decline expected in Iranian exports.

The conflict in Yemen is a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

U.S. oil output from seven major shale formations, however, is expected to rise to a fresh peak of about 8.5 million barrels per day in June, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said in a report on Monday.

The two oil pumping stations are more than 500 miles from Yemen's northern border with the kingdom.

This was not the first time the Houthis have targeted Saudi Arabia with drones and missiles.

That move higher comes as the market waits for a report from the American Petroleum Institute (API), an industry group, which is expected to show US crude stockpiles fell by 800,000 barrels last week, their second decline in a row, according to analysts in a Reuters poll.

In Washington, Trump told reporters he would "absolutely" be willing to send troops to the Mideast, but he's not planned for that and hopefully won't have to plan for that.

Are more attacks coming? . "Houthis tried to appear non-violent in front of the world and that they are supporting peace through announcing unilateral withdrawal from Hodeidah's ports just two days ago", said Ibrahim.

At a Tuesday evening gathering, he reportedly added: "This is not a military confrontation, because no war is going to happen".

Notably, the recent attacks come amid mounting tension between Iran and the US after the Pentagon announced the deployment earlier this week of an aircraft carrier strike group to the Persian Gulf. Iranian officials denied responsibility. Images of the Norwegian ship, which the company said was "not in any danger of sinking", showed damage similar to what the firm described.

Tehran has called the USA military presence "a target" rather than a threat, and said it would not allow its oil exports to be halted. The official was not authorized to discuss the investigation and thus spoke on condition of anonymity.

Iran rejects the allegation of Iranian involvement and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that "extremist individuals" in the USA government were pursuing unsafe policies.

Experts from France, the U.S. and Norway are said to be assisting with the investigation into the tanker attacks.

Also Tuesday, Spain temporarily pulled one of its frigates that was part of a US -led fleet from near the Persian Gulf because of the mounting tensions.

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