Largest Drone attack on two Saudi Aramco Oil processing facilities in Abqaiq and Khurais provinces on Saturday sparked fires that the state oil company brought under control, the Saudi interior ministry spokesman said without identifying the source of the drones.
Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Interior said on Saturday that drone attacks caused fires at two Saudi Aramco facilities, adding that the blazes are under control. It took 3 hours to control the fire.
One of the facilities is located in Abqaiq, near Dammam in the Kingdom’s Eastern Province. The other facility is located in the Hijrat Khurais oilfield.
“At 4 am on Saturday morning, Aramco’s industrial security teams fought two fires in two of the company’s facilities in Abqaiq and Khurais after they were targeted by drones… the two fires were controlled and contained, and the related authorities have begun investigating,” the ministry said in a statement.
Saudi Arabia says drones attacked two major oil facilities in the kingdom, sparking fires.
The kingdom did not say who was behind the attacks Saturday.
The precise targets and the extent of possible damage were unclear. Aramco did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Abqaiq, 60 km (37 miles) southwest of Dhahran in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province, contains the world’s largest oil processing plant. Khurais, 190 km further southwest, contains the country’s second largest oilfield.
Saudi Arabia has issued the orders that “Rumours that could affect or disrupt the peace is punishable.”
Different versions are coming on the attack. As per some social media accounts and the videos floating on the social media, gun fires could be heard from the facilities of Aramco where the Explosions took place.
As per some social media handles, the Houthis claimed the responsibility of the attacks, as per some news channels, houthis have not immediately claimed the latest assaults. While as per some, the attack on Aramco was carried-out by loitering drones launched from Iraq in support of Houthi rebels in Yemen. As its result 2 Aramco’s facilities were hit 4 times early morning.
A Defense Analyst and correspondent Babak Taghvaee in his tweet said, “According to a source from Royal #SaudiArabia Air Force, the loitering drones which attacked the Aramco’s Oil facilities in #Buquaq/Abqaiq arly morning today are most likely launched from Iraq and not by Houthi rebels in Yemen.”
Tensions are running high in the region after attacks in June and July on oil tankers in Gulf waters that Riyadh and Washington blamed on Iran. Tehran denies the accusations.
Iran-aligned Houthi fighters in Yemen have also launched attacks over the border, hitting Shaybah oilfield with drones last month and two oil pumping stations in May. Both attacks caused fires but did not disrupt production.
Aramco is preparing to float shares as early as this year as part of efforts to diversify the economy of the world’s top oil exporter away from crude. It has hired nine banks as joint global coordinators to lead the IPO and has been meeting bankers this week in Dubai as it speeds up the listing plans.
Due to the weekend, the oil prices have so far not changed. Oil prices are hovering at around $60 per barrel. Whole world is wishing that this Largest drone attack should not lead to rise in oil prices. Else the countries that are already going through economic turmoil, will be further badly hurt.
Currently, Pakistan’s retired army chief, Gen. Raheel Sharif, commands a Saudi-led Islamic military alliance to fight terrorism. Were these drone attacks pointing to the incompetency of Pakistanis in providing security to the Kingdom?