Drones strike Saudi Aramco Abqaiq and Khurais sites; temporary production suspension of 5.7M barrels per day
Drones attacked two key Saudi Aramco sites in Saudi Arabia—the Abqaiq processing plant and the Khurais oil field—on Saturday; Houthi rebels claimed credit for the strikes. Saudi Aramco emergency crews contained the fires at the plants; the company announced the production suspension of 5.7 million barrels of crude oil per day.
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.—Amin H. Nasser, Saudi Aramco President & CEO
Abqaiq, in eastern Saudi Arabia, is the world’s largest oil processing facility and crude oil stabilization plant, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). The plant, which handles crude pumped from the Ghawar super giant field, has a crude oil processing capacity of more than 7 million b/d. Abqaiq is also linked to the Shaybah oil field through a 395-mile pipeline.
The plant processes the majority of Arab Extra Light and Arab Light crude oils, as well as natural gas liquids (NGL). The facility's infrastructure includes pumping stations, gas-oil separation plants (gosps), hydro-desulfurization units, and an extensive network of pipelines that connects the plant to the ports of Jubail, Ras Tanura, and Yanbu (for NGL).
The Abqaiq processing plant is a vital part of Saudi oil infrastructure. Most of the oil produced in the country is processed at Abqaiq before export or delivery to refineries.
The Khurais field has a production capacity of some 1.2Mb/d, and produces Arab Light.
The IEA said it is monitoring the situation in Saudi Arabia closely, snd that it is in contact with the Saudi authorities as well as major producer and consumer nations. For now, markets are well supplied with ample commercial stocks, IEA said.
In August, one of the units of a natural gas plant in Al-Shiba oil field was also attacked by drones, which caused limited damage and no casualties. Oil production and exports were not affected by this earlier strike.