Friday, September 30, 2022

Drone attacks on two Saudi Aramco facilities

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New Delhi: Drone attacks on two major oil facilities of state-owned Saudi Aramco led to a massive fire. Footage from the site sourced from Saudi Arabia’s state media showed Abqaiq, site of Aramco’s largest oil processing plant, and Khurais oilfield in the west engulfed in flames and massive palls of smoke. State media said that the fires have now been brought under control at both the Saudi Aramco facilities.

Abqaiq is about 60km (37 miles) south-west of Dhahran in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province, while Khurais, some 200km further south-west, has the country’s second largest oilfield.

No word yet on who is behind the attacks

“At 04:00 (0100 GMT), the industrial security teams of Aramco started dealing with fires at two of its facilities in Abqaiq and Khurais as a result of… drones,” the official Saudi Press Agency reported. It, however, did not say who could be behind the latest drone attacks.

No immediate impact on global oil prices

There was no immediate impact on global oil prices as markets across the world are closed for the weekend. Before the closing, Benchmark Brent crude had been trading at just above $60 a barrel.

The Khurais oilfields has a capacity of yielding over 1 million barrels of crude oil a day. It has estimated reserves of over 20 billion barrels of oil, according to Aramco.

Who could be behind the attacks?

Earlier, Iran-aligned Houthi fighters in Yemen were blamed for drone attacks on the Shaybah natural gas liquefaction facility last month and on other oil facilities in May.
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The rebel forces are fighting the Yemeni government and a Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.

Yemen has been at war since 2015 since President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi was forced to flee the capital Sanaa by the Houthis. Saudi Arabia supports President Hadi. In 2006, Saudi Arabia had foiled an attempt by Al Qaeda to execute a suicide attack at the Abqaiq facility.

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