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14 Sep, 2019 21:58

Saudi Arabia confirms about half of Aramco's production interrupted due to drone strikes

Saudi Arabia confirms about half of Aramco's production interrupted due to drone strikes

Drone attacks on two Saudi Aramco facilities will lead to 5.7 million barrels or a 50-percent drop in the oil giant’s production, the Saudi energy minister has said. Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Explosions rocked an oil refinery in the city of Abqaiq in the kingdom’s oil-rich Eastern Province, and another facility at the vast Khurais oil field on Saturday morning, sparking huge blazes that ravaged the facilities for hours.

Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said the attacks crippled the facilities, forcing Saudi Aramco to partially halt crude and gas production, but the company was working on recovering the lost quantities and would make an update within 48 hours. The decrease in supplies will be compensated in part through the company’s oil reserves, the minister said.

Also on rt.com Drone attacks trigger huge fires at Saudi Aramco oil facilities, Houthis claim responsibility

While falling short of naming the perpetrator, the minister called the strikes “an extension” of the attacks on oil facilities, pumping stations, and oil tankers in the Persian Gulf.

Yemen's Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for the drone strikes. They have been attacking Saudi territory since the kingdom became involved in Yemen's civil war four years ago, with frequent bombings claiming hundreds of lives.

Earlier Saturday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iran for what he called “an unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply.” While Washington did not outline any retaliatory measures, one of US President Donald Trump's chief allies in Congress, hawkish Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, called for a strike against Tehran.

The Saudi minister echoed Pompeo, stating that the attacks not only affected “vital installations” of the oil-rich kingdom energy infrastructure, but also targeted global oil supplies, thus “threatening the global economy.”

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