Aramco suspends 50% of production following drone attacks on Abqaiq, Khurais facilities

Aramco suspends 50% of production following drone attacks on Abqaiq, Khurais facilities
Published: 15 September 2019 - 8 a.m.
By: Martin Menachery
Saudi Aramco emergency crews contained fires at its plants in Abqaiq and Khurais, as a result of terrorist attacks with projectiles, according to a media release from the company.

These attacks resulted in production suspension of 5.7 million barrels of crude oil per day.

After visiting the incident locations, Amin H Nasser, Saudi Aramco president & CEO, said: “We are gratified that there were no injuries. I would like to thank all teams that responded timely to the incidents and brought the situation under control. Work is underway to restore production and a progress update will be provided in around 48 hours.

The security spokesman at the Ministry of Interior, Saudi Arabia, said that at 4:00am on Saturday, 14 September 2019, the industrial security teams of Aramco controlled two fires in two factories belonging to the company in the City of Abqaiq and Khurais Village, targeted by drones, reported the Saudi Press Agency.

Meanwhile, Kuwait, the UAE, Djibouti, the US, Bahrain, Jordan, Egypt, the UK, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen condemned the attacks on Aramco facilities.

According to another media release by the Saudi Press Agency, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, the minister of energy, Saudi Arabia, stated that several explosions occurred as a result of terrorist attacks in Saudi Aramco plants in Khurais and Abqaiq. They resulted in fires that were controlled.

The minister pointed out that this terrorist act resulted in the temporary suspension of production operations at Abqaiq and Khurais plants. According to preliminary estimates, these explosions led to the interruption of a quantity of crude oil supplies estimated at 5.7 million barrels, or about 50% of the company's production. Part of the decrease will be compensated for its customers through stocks, the release explained.

The minister explained that these explosions have also led to the cessation of the production of associated gas estimated at two billion cubic feet per day, used to produce 700 thousand barrels of natural gas liquids, which will reduce the supply of ethane and natural gas liquids by up to about 50%.

As for the local supplies, the minister stressed that this attack has not resulted in any impact on the supply of electricity and water from fuel, or on the supply of fuel to the local market, nor resulted in any injuries among workers at these sites so far, and the company is still in the process of assessing the implications of this, elaborated the media statement.

The minister of energy said that this terrorist attack and sabotage is an extension of the recent attacks that targeted oil and civil facilities, pumping stations and oil tankers in the Arabian Gulf, according to the media release by the Saudi Press Agency.

The minister stressed that these attacks are not only aimed at the vital installations of the kingdom, but also on the global oil supply and its security, and thus pose a threat to the global economy. It once again highlights the importance of the international community undertaking its role in maintaining energy supplies against all terrorist actors who carry out, support and finance such cowardly acts of sabotage, pointed out the media release.

According to another media release by the Saudi Press Agency, secretary general of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Dr Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani condemned the drone attack against two Aramco plants in Abqaiq and Hijrat Khurais, describing it as a cowardly terrorist act and a blatant threat to the kingdom's security, stability and vital interests. Dr Al-Zayani said that the targeting of Saudi Aramco's plants in the kingdom is an attempt to undermine the global energy supply, but it has only met catastrophic failure. He added that Saudi Arabia, in its global economic role, remained insurmountable to their criminal plans, calling on the international community to take a firm stand against these criminal acts of terrorism and the forces supporting them, concluded the media release.

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