Saudi Arabia has announced to stop oil production temporarily, from its two oil facilities run by the Saudi Aramco, following drone attacks.
Saudi Energy Minister, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, said on early Sunday that oil production is being temporarily halted from the two major facilities, owned by Saudi Arabia's state-owned oil giant.
On Saturday, the official Saudi Press Agency reported the blazes at the Abqaiq and Khurais facilities. Abqaiq is home to the Saudi oil giant Aramco’s largest oil processing plant.
The minister added that the blaze led to the interruption of 5.7 million barrels of crude supplies per day from the two facilities. He said the part of the reduction will be compensated by drawing oil Aramco’s oil stocks.
He also said the attack caused a halt in production of associated petroleum gas (APG) which is nearly two billion barrels per day. This has caused 50% reduction in supply of ethane and other natural gases.
Stressing that there will be no shortage of fuel in the domestic market, he said the Aramco was supplying form its stocks and was also assessing the damage.
No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack. However, the Houthi rebels in Yemen, fighting against the Saudi-led coalition, said they have carried out similar attacks in the past.
The Iran-backed Houthis, whose medium and long-range ballistic missiles, are usually intercepted by the Saudi air defense systems, have in previously targeted certain strategic assets and locations of Saudi Arabia, using armed drones.
Yemen has remained wracked by violence, since 2014, when the Iran-aligned Houthi group overran much of the country, including the capital Sanaa.
The conflict escalated the following year when Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies launched a massive air campaign, aimed at rolling back Houthi gains in Yemen and installing the country’s ousted pro-Saudi government.
More than 70,000 people have been killed in the conflict since 2016, according to the UN estimates.
In addition, Saudi Arabia led airstrikes have led to deaths of scores of civilians, in the war-ravaged country since 2015.
By Gozde Bayar