Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi group on Saturday attacked two plants at the heart of Saudi Arabia’s oil industry, including the world’s biggest petroleum processing facility, in a strike that three sources said had disrupted output and exports, Trend reports citing Reuters.
Two sources close to the matter said 5 million barrels per day of crude production were impacted - close to half of the kingdom’s output or 5% of global oil supply. Another source said some production was shut down as a precaution and that most of the lost output capacity would resume within days.
The pre-dawn drone attack on the Saudi Aramco facilities set off several fires, although the kingdom, the world’s largest oil exporter, later said these were brought under control.
State television said exports were continuing but Aramco has yet to comment since the assault, which the Houthis said was carried out by 10 drones.
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“For now, markets are well supplied with ample commercial stocks,” the International Energy Agency tweeted, saying it was in contact with Saudi authorities as well as major producer and consumer nations.
The attacks occurred as Aramco accelerates plans for an initial public offering of the state oil giant to as early as this year, and follow earlier cross-border attacks on Saudi oil installations and on oil tankers in Gulf waters.