Dubai: Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al Falih said on Tuesday that two oil pumping stations for the East-West pipeline had been hit by explosive-laden drones, calling the attack “an act of terrorism” that targeted global oil supplies.
Falih condemned the attacks in a statment saying: “The latest acts of terrorism and sabotage in the Arabian Gulf… not only target the Kingdom but also the security of oil supplies to the world 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,” he said.
Falih said Saudi oil output and exports for crude and refined products were continuing without disruption, but that the state oil giant Aramco had halted oil pumping in the pipeline while the damage was evaluated and the stations were repaired, according to a statement carried by the state news agency SPA.
The 1,200-kilometre pipeline carries crude from Saudi Arabia’s main eastern oil fields to the Red Sea port city of Yanbu in the west.
Oil prices go up
Oil prices rose sharply on Tuesday after the drone attack. Brent crude futures were at $71.15 a barrel at 1155 GMT, up 92 cents or 1.31 per cent, according to Reuters.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $61.68 per barrel, up 64 cents or 1.05 per cent.
The pumping stations targeted lie west of the capital Riyadh, at Dawadmi and Afeef.