Saudi Aramco Restarts Oil Pipeline After Drone Attack

  • May 15, 2019
  • Investing

Saudi Aramco restarted pumping oil on Wednesday through the pipeline which was hit by drone attacks on Tuesday, Arab media report.

Two pumping stations along Aramco’s East-West oil pipeline in Saudi Arabia were attacked by explosive-laden drones in the early morning local time on Tuesday, the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported yesterday, citing Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih, who described the attack as one of “terrorism and sabotage.”

The drones laden with explosives targeted the pump stations on the pipeline which carries oil from eastern Saudi Arabia to the Yanbu port.

Saudi Aramco issued a statement on Tuesday, saying that the sabotage caused minor damage and a fire at one of the pumping stations. Aramco temporarily shut down the pipeline yesterday as a precautionary measure and noted that no injuries or fatalities were reported. The company’s oil and gas supplies haven’t been impacted as a result of the incident either, it said.

“Mr. Al-Falih confirmed that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia condemns this cowardly attack, emphasizing that this act of terrorism and sabotage in addition to recent acts in the Arabian Gulf do not only target the Kingdom but also the security of world oil supplies and the global economy. These attacks prove again that it is important for us to face terrorist entities, including the Houthi militias in Yemen that are backed by Iran,” the official Saudi agency said on Tuesday.

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This statement came out hours after Houthi-owned TV Almasirah reported that “7 Drones have targeted vital Saudi facilities.”

Reports of the drone attack on Saudi Aramco’s oil infrastructure came a day after Saudi Arabia said that two of its oil tankers were attacked by saboteurs near the United Arab Emirates (UAE), while the UAE said that a total four vessels were attacked off its coast at the port of Fujairah.

The heightened security concerns and the potential threat to global oil supplies in the Middle East lifted oil prices on Monday and early Tuesday, outweighing concerns about an escalating U.S.-China trade war and slowing global economic growth. A large crude build reported by API later on Tuesday, however, weighed down on oil prices, which were still down just before the EIA’s inventory report release on Wednesday.