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Saudis Shut Arab Light Oil Pipeline To Bahrain After Attacks

Saudi Arabia has shut down its 230,000 bpd pipeline carrying Arab Light crude to Bahrain, after this weekend’s attacks took 5.7 million bpd of Saudi oil production—mostly light grades—offline, Reuters reported on Monday, quoting two trade sources.

The pipeline with a capacity to ship between 220,000 bpd and 230,000 bpd of Arab Light crude oil from Aramco to Bahrain’s oil company Bapco was closed after the attacks crippled the production of mostly light grades in Saudi Arabia, one of Reuters’ sources said.

On Saturday, the Abqaiq facility and the Khurais oil field in Saudi Arabia were hit by attacks, which resulted in the suspension of more than half of Saudi Arabia’s oil production. The onshore Khurais oil field has the capacity to produce 1.2 million bpd of Arab Light, according to EIA estimates. The Abqaiq facility, for its part, is considered to be the most important oil processing plant in the world. The facility processes crude oil from the major Saudi oil fields Ghawar, Shaybah, and Khurais.

All those three fields produce Arab Light or Arab Extra Light. Ghawar has the capacity to pump 5.8 million bpd of Arab Light, while Shaybah has a capacity of 1 million bpd of Arab Extra Light, according to EIA estimates based on data from Saudi Aramco, Arab Oil and Gas Journal, and IHS Markit.

While the Saudis closed the oil pipeline to Bahrain, the Bahraini company Bapco is scrambling to secure tankers to ship some 2 million barrels of crude oil from Saudi Arabia, the trade sources told Reuters.

Bapco has shut down a crude distillation unit at the Sitrah refinery, while another crude distillation unit, a vacuum distillation unit, and a visbreaker unit have reduced their run rates to 45 percent, Reuters reported, citing an alert to clients sent by research company IIR.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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