Amr Nabil / AP. Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen, who’ve launched several drone attacks on Saudi targets in the past, claimed responsibility for the assault on the kingdom’s Abqaiq plant. Facilities at Abqaiq and the nearby Khurais oil field were hit at 4 a.m. local time, SPA reported. The attack on the Saudi state-owned oil company Aramco also included more than 20 drones, the official said. The attacks come as Aramco, officially known as Saudi Arabian Oil Co., is speeding up preparations for an initial public offering. Saudi officials display an apparent Iranian cruise missile and drones that they say was used in an attack on an oil facility. The Saudi oil industry has enjoyed an air of invulnerability with respect to its oil industry. Saudi Oil Fields Are in the Firing Line as Gulf Conflicts Rage. The facility refines crude oil pumped from the Ghawar field, and is connected to both the Shaybah oil field through a 636-km (395-mile) pipeline and an export terminal in Yanbu. For Saudi Arabia, an oil field attack was a disaster. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Iran has denied responsibility for the attack… “Abqaiq is the heart of the system and they just had a heart attack,” said Roger Diwan, a veteran OPEC watcher at consultant IHS Markit. Operations in Abqaiq and Khurais are halted for now. Dow Jones reported that Saudi and U.S. officials are investigating the possibility that cruise missiles were launched from Iraq, which is much closer than Yemen. Analysts have identified at least 17 hits. Saudi Arabia’s oil production was cut by half after a swarm of explosive drones struck at the heart of the kingdom’s energy industry and set the world’s biggest crude-processing plant ablaze -- an attack blamed on Iran by the top U.S. diplomat. America's top diplomat met earlier Thursday with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Jeddah over Saturday's attack on a crucial oil processing facility and oil field… Kuwait, which sits between Iraq and Saudi Arabia and is close to western Iran, separately has acknowledged investigating reports of a drone or low-flying object speeding over the oil-rich country early Saturday just before the Saudi attack. The implications of the attack on Saudi Arabia’s Abqaiq oil-processing facility may be substantial in both the short and the long run for the region and the global economy. Saudi Arabia blames Iran for attack on refinery and oil field that hit global supply Military spokesman said preliminary investigation shows weapons … The facility, and another oil field to the south, had been attacked from the air. .css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:link{color:inherit;}.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:visited{color:#696969;}.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:link,.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:visited{-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:link:hover,.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:visited:hover,.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:link:focus,.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:visited:focus{color:#B80000;-webkit-text-decoration:underline;text-decoration:underline;}.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:link::after,.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:visited::after{content:'';position:absolute;top:0;right:0;bottom:0;left:0;z-index:2;}Will attacks raise fuel prices? Saudi oil ministry sources said the production had been disrupted by about 5m barrels a day – nearly half the kingdom’s estimated output of 9.7m barrels and 5% of global production. Tensions in the Persian Gulf -- pitting Saudi Arabia and its allies, including the United Arab Emirates, against regional foe Iran -- have highlighted the risk to global oil supply. The Houthis have launched attacks on Saudi soil before, including on oil pipelines. But this attack was on a much bigger scale, hitting the world's biggest oil-processing plant and another oil field. Its proven oil reserves are the second-largest of any country, after Venezuela, and represent about 16% of the world's total. Saturday’s attack is the largest and most sophisticated yet. The attacks were carried out with 10 unmanned aerial vehicles -- drones -- and came after intelligence cooperation from people inside Saudi Arabia, Yemen’s rebel-run Saba news agency reported, citing Houthi spokesman Yahya Saree. Emergency crews have contained the fires, Aramco said. Analyst Anthony Cordesman from the Center for Strategic and International Studies suggests the attacks could have been carried out using relatively unsophisticated drones operating as "weapons of mass effectiveness". September 15, 2019, 3:21 PM EDT Updated on September 16, 2019, 11:41 AM EDT 5:22. That’s affected about half of Saudi Arabia’s oil production. The attack cut 5.7 million barrels per day (bpd) of Saudi crude output, over 5 percent of the world's supply. A drone attack claimed by Yemen’s Houthi rebels has sparked a fire in a remote Saudi oil and gas field but has caused no casualties or disruption … Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for the attack. While that field wasn’t attacked, its crude is sent to Abqaiq and the smoke could indicate flaring. Most of Saudi Arabia’s lighter crude streams are produced at its onshore fields. "It is virtually impossible to secure civilian facilities from a worker or visitor's capability to use a cell phone to get precise GPS coordinates, commercial satellite coverage is now very good, and there are many ways to produce the kind of image needed for terminal guidance from ordinary photos," he writes. The biggest attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil infrastructure since Iraq’s Saddam Hussein fired Scud missiles into the kingdom during the first Gulf War, the drone strike highlights the vulnerability of the network of fields, pipeline and ports that supply 10% of the world’s crude oil. Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal. At the same time, the Trump administration’s own impulses have seemed to vary: Trump has warned Iran against escalation, yet pulled back on a planned retaliatory attack, and fell out with his former National Security Adviser John Bolton, in part because of Bolton’s militancy against Iran. Saudi Arabia Attack Is a Strike at Oil’s Future: LiamDenning, 10 explosive drones, claimed by Houthi rebels in Yemen, attacked the world's biggest oil processing plant in Saudi Arabia, disrupting the heart of the kingdom's oil industry The strikes at the Abqaiq processing facility and Khurais oil field initially cut by more than 50 percent the oil produced by the kingdom, which supplies about a tenth of the worldwide total. Saudi Aramco, which pumped about 9.8 million barrels a day in August, will be able to keep customers supplied for several weeks by drawing on a global storage network. On 14 September 2019, there was a drone attack on two Saudi Aramco plants: the Abqaiq oil processing facility and Khurais oil field. Have a confidential tip for our reporters? The energy giant has selected banks for the share sale and may list as soon as November, people familiar with the matter have said. At 5.7 million barrels of crude oil a day, the Saudi disruption would be the greatest on record for world markets, according to figures from the Paris-based International Energy Agency. Read about our approach to external linking. It has estimated reserves of more than 20 billion barrels of oil, according to Saudi oil company Aramco. Alan Levin. Abqaiq is the world's largest oil processing facility, and about two-thirds of Saudi Arabia's total output is refined there. Online videos showed explosions and large fires at the Abqaiq oil processing facility. The international benchmark used by traders, Brent crude, jumped to … The world's largest oil processing facility and a nearby oil field in Saudi Arabia were set ablaze early Saturday morning after reported drone attacks by Iranian-backed Yemeni rebels. President Trump again addressed the attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities and Iran’s alleged role in the attack as he left the White House for New Mexico on Monday. — With assistance by Nour Al Ali, Mohammed Hatem, Nadeem Hamid, Zainab Fattah, Sebastian Tong, Maria Jose Valero, and Serene Cheong, U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo blames Iran for Saudi attack, Kingdom’s fields, facilities previously hit by Yemeni rebels. “For the oil market, if not the global economy, Abqaiq is the single most valuable piece of real estate on planet earth,” Bob McNally, head of Rapid Energy Group in Washington. “Our upcoming operations will expand and would be more painful as long as the Saudi regime continues its aggression and blockade” on Yemen, he said. Drone Attack on Saudi Oil Field Seen as Realizing Worst Fears By . For Russia, it’s a weapons sales pitch. Yemen’s Houthi rebels have been battling a Saudi-led coalition since 2015, when mainly Gulf forces intervened to restore the rule of President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and his government after the Houthis captured the capital, Sana’a. The International Energy Agency, responsible for managing the oil reserves of the world’s industrialized economies, said it was monitoring the situation, but the world was well-supplied with commercial stockpiles. In a statement Saudi Arabia later announced the fires had been brought under control within hours, and no one had been killed or injured. Gas output was also disrupted, with 2 billion cubic feet in daily output, about half of normal production, stopped by the attack, SPA news agency said, citing the kingdom’s Energy Minister Abdulaziz bin Salman. Some seven million barrels of oil are processed each day. Why Saudi Arabia and Iran are bitter rivals, Saudi Arabia oil and gas production reduced by drone strikes. It was running at a rate of 1.2 million barrels a day before the attack. Response to Attack on Saudi Oil Field Shows How Markets Have Changed Prices saw their biggest spike since the start of the Gulf War in 1991, but the … .css-14iz86j-BoldText{font-weight:bold;}Satellite images issued by the United States have revealed the extent of the damage to two key Saudi oil facilities attacked by drones at the weekend. Iraq has denied that the attack came from there. The oil price has seen the biggest one-day rise since the 1991 Gulf War, rising 20% but falling back later. Attack on Saudi Oil Plant Is What Everyone Feared: Oil Strategy. The U.S. Department of Energy said it’s prepared to dip into the Strategic Petroleum Oil Reserves if necessary to offset any market disruption. US officials say the images show damage consistent with coming from a west-north-west direction, not Houthi-controlled territory which lies to the south-west of the refinery. About 5.7 million barrels per day of output has been suspended, Saudi Aramco said in a statement. Oil prices soar after attacks on Saudi facilities, US says data shows Iran behind Saudi oil attacks, The huge US oil stash hidden in underground caves. Online videos showed explosions and large fires at the Abqaiq oil processing facility. Saudi Arabia has "a great deal of explaining to do" on how it could not defend its "most critical" oil facility from drone attacks at the weekend, said Gary Grappo, former U.S. ambassador to … Khurais is the location of Saudi Arabia’s second-biggest oil field, with a production capacity of 1.45 million barrels a day. “Work is underway to restore production and a progress update will be provided in around 48 hours,” said Amin H. Nasser, Aramco’s president and chief executive officer. Saudi Arabia is the world's largest oil exporter, having produced about 12 million barrels of petroleum products per day in 2017. In recent months, Iran has become increasingly aggressive, regionally and over the issue of oil, attacking and hijacking tankers especially near the Straits of Hormuz. Ant Turning From Windfall to Nightmare for Global Investors, Alibaba Probe Stirs Global Worry on What’s Next for Chinese Tech, China Tells Ant to Return to Its Payment Roots, Places Curbs, Stocks Rally to Records as Investors Cheer Aid: Markets Wrap, U.K. Saudi Arabia’s oil fields and pipeline have been the target of attacks over the past year, often using drones, with the incidents mostly claimed by Yemeni rebels. On Saturday, the attack struck the world’s biggest oil processing facility in Saudi Arabia, as well as an oil field, taking out about six percent of global oil supplies. Updates with Aramco CEO’s comments on output in fourth paragraph. A satellite picture from a NASA near real-time imaging system published early on Saturday showed a huge smoke plume extending more than 50 miles over Abqaiq. Saudi Arabia claims that the Aramco oil processing facility at Abqaiq was hit by 18 drones and that the Khurais oil field facility was targeted by four cruise missiles. The facilities came under attack at 04:00 (01:00 GMT) on Saturday. .css-1xgx53b-Link{font-family:ReithSans,Helvetica,Arial,freesans,sans-serif;font-weight:700;-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;color:#FFFFFF;}.css-1xgx53b-Link:hover,.css-1xgx53b-Link:focus{-webkit-text-decoration:underline;text-decoration:underline;}Read about our approach to external linking. A prolonged outage at Abqaiq, where crude from several of the country’s largest oil fields is processed before being shipped to export terminals, would jolt global energy markets. Yet they’ve seemed careful about crossing perceived “red lines” as they protest U.S. sanctions against their own oil. U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said in a tweet there’s no evidence the attacks came from Yemen and blamed Iran directly, but didn’t offer evidence for that conclusion either. Trump expressed support for the kingdom’s self-defense during a phone call with Saudi’s Bin Salman after the attack, the White House said. The targeted oil facilities can process 8.45 million barrels of crude oil a day between them, the bulk of production in Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter. On Sept. 14, a major Saudi oil processing plant was rocked by a series of explosions. Aramco is working to compensate clients for some of the shortfall from its reserves. Some are loaded with munitions for use as “kamikaze drones” with a range of up to 1,500 kilometers (932 miles). The conflict has killed thousands of people and caused one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises. The Houthi forces have used small and medium-sized unmanned aerial vehicles in various roles, according to a United Nations report. the attacks could have been carried out using relatively unsophisticated drones operating as "weapons of mass effectiveness". Saudi Arabia Attack Is a Strike at Oil’s Future: LiamDenning. When a facility stops suddenly, excess oil and natural gas is safely burned in large flaring stacks.​. An unnamed senior US official told ABC News the attacks on the Abqaiq refinery had involved a dozen cruise missiles and more than 20 drones. Satellite images show two significant hits to two towers, with scorch marks visible on the ground from a significant fire. President Donald Trump spoke with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman by telephone but hasn’t commented directly. Poised to Clear Astra Shot as Need for Vaccines Grows. The Khurais oil field is believed to produce more than one million barrels of crude oil a day. Satellite image showing plumes of smoke rising from an Aramco facility in Abqaiq on Sept. 14. However the fires led to the interruption of an estimated 5.7 million barrels in global oil supplies, according to the statement. Abqaiq has a crude oil processing capacity of more than 7 million barrels a day, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The facilities came under attack at 04:00 (01:00 GMT) on Saturday. Four additional plumes to the south-west appear close to the Ghawar oilfield, the world’s largest. The Saudis hold millions of barrels in tanks in the kingdom itself, plus three strategic locations around the world: Rotterdam in the Netherlands, Okinawa in Japan, and Sidi Kerir on the Mediterranean coast of Egypt. A number of "spheroids" used to process crude oil were hit, apparently with pinpoint accuracy, and fires from blasts at other parts of the facility can also be seen. This sort of attack wasn’t supposed to be possible. © 2020 BBC. Infrastructure at the site, which is about 180km south-west of Abqaiq, also sustained damage. Houthi rebels, who are engaged in a bitter war with Saudi-led forces in Yemen, have claimed responsibility—but the U.S. and Saudi Arabia claim that Iran was behind the attack. Khurais is Saudi Arabia’s second largest oil field, with the capacity to pump about 1.45 million barrels a day of Arabian Light crude.
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