An attack on Saudi Aramco’s Abqaiq and Khurais oil production facilities has resulted in the suspension of 5.7 million barrels a day (b/d) of oil production. Saudi Arabia’s Energy Ministry said this is about half of the company’s production.

Yemen’s Houthi rebels say they are responsible for the drone attacks, according to the Houthi-run Al-Masirah news agency.

In addition to the disruption to oil production, the Energy Ministry said the attacks have also suspended the production of an estimated 2 billion cubic feet a day of associated gas used to produce 700,000 b/d of natural gas liquids. This will reduce the supply of ethane and natural gas liquids by up to about 50 per cent.

For the local market, the Energy Ministry said the attacks have not affected the supply of electricity and water from fuel, or the supply of fuel to the local market.

Saudi Aramco said in a statement that emergency crews have contained the resulting fires at Abqaiq and Khurais, adding that the firm will publish an update in 48 hours.

“We are gratified that there were no injuries. I would like to thank all teams that responded timely to the incidents and brought the situation under control. Work is underway to restore production and a progress update will be provided in around 48 hours,” said Amin Nasser, president and CEO of Saudi Aramco.

Before the attacks, Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said on 12 September that the kingdom would continue to exceed compliance to oil production cuts agreed by the Opec+ alliance of oil producers.

Saudi Arabia’s October production will be 9.89 million b/d, significantly below the kingdom’s capacity of about 12 million b/d.

MEED comment: Saudi oil attacks will test commitment to transparency
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