Jamestown to Hold Conference on Threat to Saudi Oil Facilities

Conference Panelists Include Michael Scheuer, Stephen Ulph and John C.K. Daly

Contact: Erich Marquardt, +1 202.483.8888

WASHINGTON, DC (5/11/06)–On Monday, May 15, The Jamestown Foundation will hold a conference, "Saudi Arabian Oil Facilities: The Achilles Heel of the Western Economy," at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. The conference will feature three panelists: Michael Scheuer, former chief of the bin Laden unit at the CIA’s Counterterrorist Center; Stephen Ulph, editor of The Jamestown Foundation’s Terrorism Focus; and John C.K. Daly, international correspondent for United Press International. Mr. Scheuer’s presentation is titled "Bin Laden, al-Qaeda and the Oil Target." Mr. Ulph’s is titled "Saudi Arabia’s Islamist Insurgency." Dr. Daly will present on "The Global Implications of Large-Scale Attacks on Saudi Oil Facilities."

The Jamestown Foundation is hosting this conference in the aftermath of the February 24 al-Qaeda attack on Saudi Arabia’s Abqaiq oil refinery. While a failure, the Abqaiq attack exposed the vulnerabilities of Saudi Arabia’s oil infrastructure and the accompanying risks for international energy markets. The price of oil rose $2 per barrel after news of the attack hit international oil investors. A successful attack on Abqaiq would have inflated oil prices significantly higher.

Saudi Arabia continues to face an al-Qaeda-affiliated insurgency. Top al-Qaeda leaders, including Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, have encouraged attacks on oil infrastructure, making future attacks likely. As recently stated by Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi, al-Qaeda is "not going to stop only at Abqaiq. They will probably try again and again." In this context, Monday’s conference is of special importance in order to examine the vulnerabilities of Saudi oil facilities.

Founded in 1984, The Jamestown Foundation is an independent, non-partisan research institution dedicated to providing timely information concerning critical political and strategic developments in China, Russia, and Eurasia. Jamestown’s research and analysis is available to the public free-of-charge via Jamestown’s website, www.jamestown.org.

WHERE: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
WHEN: Monday, May 15, 2006
TIME: 9:30–12:30 PM
Please Call 202-483-8888 to RSVP