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Riyadh Refinery Attacked By Drones, Saudis Say Oil Supply Safe

The Riyadh oil refinery was attacked by drones early on Friday local time, Saudi Arabia's energy ministry said, adding that the supply of oil and petroleum products has not been affected.  

"Today at 06:05 AM the Riyadh oil refinery was attacked by drones, resulting in a fire that has been brought under control. The attack did not result in any injury or death nor was the supply of oil or its derivatives affected," a spokesman at the Ministry of Energy said on Friday, carried by the official Saudi Press Agency.  

This is the second attack on a major oil facility in Saudi Arabia, following the attacks claimed by Yemen's Houthi movement on March 7. The Houthis, backed by Iran, said at the time they had fired 14 drones and eight ballistic missiles at oil facilities at the Saudi port of Ras Tanura—one of the world's largest oil ports—and military targets in three other Saudi cities.

Today's attack was in retaliation to "escalation of brutal aggression" in Yemen, Yahya Sare'e, spokesperson of for the Houthi movement, said on Twitter, adding that with six drones targeted Aramco in the "capital of the Saudi enemy, Riyadh."

Saudi Arabia, for its part, said that "The Kingdom asserts that such acts of terrorism and sabotage, repeatedly committed against vital installations and civilian facilities - the last of which was the attempt to target the Ras Tanura refinery and Saudi Aramco's residential area in Dhahran - do not target the Kingdom alone, but more broadly the security and stability of energy supply to the world, as well as the global economy."

After the attack on Ras Tanura earlier this month, oil prices fell after the initial surge as it became clear that there was no disruption to oil supply. After news broke of today's attack, oil prices continued to trade down at 10:40 a.m. EDT amid bearish sentiment on the market following the massive sell-off on Thursday.  

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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