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Drone attacks hit Saudi oil facility

Posted September. 16, 2019 07:32,   

Updated September. 16, 2019 07:32


Saudi Arabia’s major oil production facility and an oil field received drone attacks carried out by Yemen’s Houthi rebels.

According to Saudi’s state media company Saudi Press Agency and the Financial Times on Saturday (local time), Yemen’s Houthi rebels used 10 drones to attack oil facility for desulfurization and refinement in Abqaiq and an oil field in Khurais in the eastern part of Saudi Arabia at 4 a.m. on Saturday. The two locations were both set on fire after explosions.

The facility in Abqaiq is the world’s largest oil plant run by Saudi Aramco, a Saudi Arabian national petroleum company, and the oil field in Khurais is also one of the key oil fields of the country. “The two facilities’ operation will be suspended for a while,” said Minister of Energy Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. “The terror attacks have caused issues for the oil production of 5.7 million barrels, which accounts for about 50 percent of Saudi daily oil production.”

As the largest oil exporter in the world, Saudi Arabia produces approximately 10 percent of the international oil supply. The recent incident will cause disruption to oil production, which amounts to five percent of the global oil supply. Oil prices will soar and Saudi Aramco’s IPO and plan to be listed after the end of this year will also be negatively impacted.

Considering that Houthi rebels have been receiving support from Iran, the main adversary of Saudi Arabia and the U.S., the tensions in the Middle Eastern politics is expected to also rise. “Iran has now launched an unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply,” said U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claiming Iran’s involvement in the attacks.

Se-Hyung Lee turtle@donga.com