Two pumping stations on a Saudi Aramco oil pipeline in Saudi Arabia were attacked by explosive-laden drones in the early morning local time on Tuesday, the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported, citing Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih, who described the attack as one of “terrorism and sabotage.”
The drones laden with explosives targeted two pump stations on the East-West pipeline which carries oil from eastern Saudi Arabia to the Yanbu port. The attacks caused minor damage and a fire at one of the pumping stations, Saudi Arabia says, noting that Aramco has shut down the pipeline as a precaution to assess its condition.
Saudi oil production is not interrupted, al-Falih added.
“Mr. Al-Falih confirmed that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia condemns this cowardly attack, emphasizing that this act of terrorism and sabotage in addition to recent acts in the Arabian Gulf do not only target the Kingdom but also the security of world oil supplies and the global economy. These attacks prove again that it is important for us to face terrorist entities, including the Houthi militias in Yemen that are backed by Iran,” the official Saudi agency said.
This statement came out hours after Houthi-owned TV Almasirah reported that “7 Drones have targeted vital Saudi facilities.”
Reports of the drone attack on Saudi Aramco’s oil infrastructure come a day after Saudi Arabia said that two of its oil tankers were attacked by saboteurs near the United Arab Emirates (UAE), while the UAE said that a total four vessels were attacked off its coast at the port of Fujairah.
“The Saudi minister of energy denounced this attack that aims to undermine the freedom of maritime navigation, and the security of oil supplies to consumers all over the world,” the official Saudi agency reported on Monday.
On Tuesday morning, oil prices—that had been struggling for direction in earlier trade—jumped after Saudi Arabia said that pumping stations were attacked. As of 07:16 a.m. EDT, WTI Crude was up 0.82 percent at $61.54, while Brent Crude traded up 1.22 percent at $71.09.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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