Saudi’s world largest crude oil facility on fire, hit by drones

One of the oil facilities of Saudi Arabia on fire after being hit by drones
One of the oil facilities of Saudi Arabia on fire after being hit by drones

Fires broke out at two facilities of Saudi Aramco, including the Abqaiq oil processing facility in Buqyaq, “the largest crude oil stabilisation plant in the world.”

The other facility hit was the oil field at Khurais. They were all hit by drones, the Interior Ministry said on Saturday

“The industrial security teams of Aramco started dealing with fires at two of its facilities in Abqaiq and Khurais as a result of… drones,” the official Saudi Press Agency reported.

“The two fires have been controlled,” it added.

The statement added that an investigation had been launched after the attack in the kingdom’s Eastern Province but did not specify the source of the drones.

It also did not say if there were any casualties or whether operations at the two facilities had been affected.

The full extent of the damage was not immediately clear as reporters were not allowed near the plants where Saudi authorities appeared to have beefed up security.

Saturday’s attack is the latest part of a series of attacks on oil infrastructure, including the sabotage of pumping stations along the East-West pipeline, and attacks on oil tankers off Fujairah and close to the Strait of Hormuz.

Earlier in August, Saudi Aramco’s Shaybah gas plant was reportedly targeted by drones, Yemen’s Houthi rebels had claimed responsibility for the attacks.

In June, two oil tankers were hit in a suspected attack in the Gulf of Oman. The tankers were struck in the same area where the US accused Iran of using naval mines to sabotage four other oil ships in an attack in May.

The oil tankers were 10 nautical miles apart and headed to Asia when they were struck by explosions after passing through the Strait of Hormuz some 25 nautical miles off Iran’s southern coast.

A Saudi-led coalition is fighting the Yemeni rebels which it accuses of being “Iranian proxies”.