Drones attack Saudi oil pipelines, gas stationsBusiness | 14 May 2019 7:17 pm
Saudi Arabia said drones attacked one of its oil pipelines as other assaults targeted energy infrastructure elsewhere in the kingdom today, shortly after Yemen’s rebels claimed a coordinated drone attack on the Sunni power.
The assaults marked the latest incidents challenging Mideast security after the alleged sabotage of oil tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates earlier this week amid heightened tensions between the U.S. and Iran.
In a statement carried on the state-run Saudi Press Agency, Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said that drones attacked a petroleum pumping station supplying a pipeline running from its oil-rich eastern province to the Yanbu Port on the Red Sea.
A fire broke out and firefighters later brought it under control, though the state-run Saudi Aramco stopped pumping oil through the pipeline.
The kingdom’s state security body also said that two oil infrastructure sites in the greater region of Riyadh, home to its landlocked capital, were targeted at the same time. The statement described it as a “limited targeting” of petroleum stations in areas al-Dudami and Afif in the Riyadh region, without elaborating.
This comes after four oil tankers anchored in the Mideast were damaged by what Gulf officials described as sabotage, though satellite images obtained by The Associated Press on Tuesday showed no major visible damage to the vessels.
Details of the alleged sabotage to two Saudi, one Norwegian and one Emirati oil tanker on Sunday remained unclear, and Gulf officials have declined to say who they suspected was responsible. But it demonstrated the raised risks for shippers in a region vital to global energy supplies as tensions are increasing between the U.S. and Iran over its unraveling nuclear deal with world powers.-AP