Saudi Arabia’s oil production was cut by half after a swarm of explosive drones struck at the heart of the kingdom’s energy industry and set the world’s biggest crude-processing plant ablaze — an attack blamed on Iran by the top U.S. diplomat.
About 5.7 million barrels per day of output have been suspended, Saudi Aramco said in a statement. That’s affected about half of Saudi Arabia’s oil production. Gas output was also disrupted, with 2 billion cubic feet in daily output, about half of normal production, stopped by the attack, SPA news agency said, citing the kingdom’s Energy Minister Abdulaziz bin Salman. Operations in Abqaiq and Khurais are halted for now.
10 explosive drones, claimed by Houthi rebels in Yemen, attacked the world’s biggest oil processing plant in Saudi Arabia, disrupting the heart of the kingdom’s oil industry.
Aramco is working to compensate clients for some of the shortfall from its reserves. Emergency crews have contained the fires, Aramco said.
Saturday’s attack is the largest and most sophisticated yet. The Houthi forces have used small and medium-sized unmanned aerial vehicles in various roles, according to a United Nations report. Some are loaded with munitions for use as “kamikaze drones” with a range of up to 1,500 kilometers (932 miles).