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KUWAIT CITY, Sept 14, (Agencies): An official source at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Saturday expressed Kuwait’s strong condemnation of the two attacks, which hit two Aramco facilities in the city of Abqaiq and Khurais Village, which led to the outbreak of two fires which were controlled.
The source condemned in the strongest terms the sabotage attack that targeted the security and stability of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the global energy supply.
The source confirmed Kuwait’s call on the international community to redouble efforts to curb such attacks and prevent their recurrence. It also stressed Kuwait’s full support to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in all measures it has taken to preserve its security and territorial integrity.
The source concluded the statement by asking Allah Almighty to protect the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its brotherly people from all harm. Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi group on Saturday attacked two Saudi Aramco plants at the heart of the Kingdom’s oil industry, including the world’s biggest petroleum processing facility, sparking fires in the latest violent flare-up in the Gulf.
Saudi Arabia said it had brought the blazes under control but three sources close to the matter said oil production and exports had been disrupted. One source said 5 million barrels per day of crude production had been impacted — close to half the Kingdom’s output — but did not elaborate. State television said exports were continuing but Aramco has yet to comment since the pre-dawn attack and authorities have not said whether oil production or exports were affected.
The drone strikes on the world’s biggest oil exporter come as Saudi Aramco has accelerated plans for an initial public offering of the state oil giant to as early as this year, and follow earlier cross-border attacks on Saudi oil installations and on oil tankers in Gulf waters. Saturday’s attacks appeared to be the most brazen yet.
Saudi Arabia, leading a Sunni Muslim military coalition that intervened in Yemen in 2015 against the Houthis, has blamed regional rival Shi’ite Iran for previous attacks, which Tehran denies.
Riyadh accuses Iran of arming the Houthis, a charge denied by the group and Tehran. Authorities have not reported on casualties. A Reuters witness nearby said at least 15 ambulances were seen in the area and there was a heavy security presence around Abqaiq. Abqaiq is 60 kms (37 miles) southwest of Aramco’s Dhahran headquarters.
The oil processing plant handles crude from the world’s largest conventional oilfield, the supergiant Ghawar, and for export to terminals Ras Tanura — the world’s biggest offshore oil loading facility — and Juaymah. It also pumps westwards across the Kingdom to Red Sea export terminals.