Drone Strikes And Massive Fire Shut Down Nearly Half Of Saudi Arabia's Oil Supply

Posted: Sep 14, 2019 3:53 PM
Drone Strikes And Massive Fire Shut Down Nearly Half Of Saudi Arabia's Oil Supply

Source: AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File

Roughly five percent of the world's oil supply was disrupted by drone strikes carried out Yemen's Houthi rebels on Saturday, CNN reported. The drone strikes lead to a fire at the world's largest oil processing facility and oil field operated by Saudi Aramco, Fox News reported. 

According to the Houthi-run Al-Masirah news agency, the rebels were targeting state-owned Saudi Aramco oil facilities in Abqaiq and Khurais.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) estimated that total Saudi production of oil currently sits at 9.8 million barrels per day. Of that, five million barrels of crude production are impacted as a result of the fire.

This isn't the first time the oil fields have come under attack.

From Fox News:

The plant has been targeted in the past by militants. Al Qaeda claimed suicide bombers tried but failed to attack the oil complex in February 2006.

The U.S. Embassy in Riyadh said it was unaware of any injuries to Americans. Saudi Aramco employs a number of U.S. citizens, some of whom live in guarded compounds in the kingdom near the site.

"These attacks against critical infrastructure endanger civilians, are unacceptable, and sooner or later will result in innocent lives being lost," U.S. Ambassador John Abizaid, a former Army general, said.

Officials believe they will be able to restore its normal production schedule on Monday.

According to the Wall Street JournalPresident Trump called Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salma and said the United States is ready and willing to “cooperate with the kingdom in supporting its security and stability." Mohammed said Saudi Arabia “is willing and able to confront and deal with this terrorist aggression."

The United Nations' General Assembly is scheduled to take place a few days from now. President Trump has made it known that he wanted to meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to defuse tensions. Rouhani has refused to meet with Trump united sanctions are lifted.