In the attack, four gunmen dressed in military uniforms attacked the Al-Khobar Petroleum Center building and then rampaged through a heavily protected residential compound housing foreign oil industry executives. Despite the ferocity of the attack, Saudi officials and American industry analysts were quick to assure the market that the bloody assault would not mean a rise in crude oil prices.
"Hey, absolutely no problem," said Peter Gignoux, senior oil adviser of New York-based GDP Associates. "These unfortunate incidents unfortunately happen occasionally in the oil business, but not very often. Americans should be completely confident that they can continue driving those big gas-guzzling SUVs like there's no tomorrow. Gas prices may bump up temporarily, but hey, that's what the free-market system is all about."
Foreigners from the United States, Britain, Italy, Sweden, South Africa, Egypt, Sri Lanka, India and the Philippines were killed in the horrific incident in the Saudi kingdom. The body of a British manager at the Apicorp Corporation was tied to a car and dragged through the streets. Approximately 50 hostages were freed after a raid by Saudi security forces.
Due to the long Memorial Day weekend holiday, when Americans traditionally take to the highways, officials in Washington could not be reached for comment. Presidential candidate John Kerry was cruising off Cape Cod in his gasoline powered yacht, Prognathous, and President Bush was trying out his new gold-plated Hummer at his Texas ranch, following an incident with a hazardous and unsafe mountain bicycle.
Despite recent mild increases of gas prices in the US, Americans have continued to buy SUVs and trucks which get fewer and fewer miles to the gallon. Buick dealer Jerry Ramsbottom commented: "Hell, the number one priority of the American car buyer these days is cup-holder size. That, and the dimensions of the front- and back-seat TV screens. Gas mileage is just about the last thing on their minds."