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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.

Comments

HarveyD

The religious Sunni-Shite wars are far from being over? Will it scale up to nuclear wars? What would be the total effects on oil production vs oil required and the environment?

SJC

Fossil fuels are finite, this is obvious.
Let's get on with plan B.

mahonj

We still need fossil fuels, for more or less everything in the short term, and for aviation, shipping and long range trucking in the medium term.
Anything that can go by rail, and short range road journeys can be electrified with current technology (and a lot of money).
You'll also need a dispatchable electricity source to balance electricity generation, batteries are good for up to an hour or two, possibly overnight, but not much much more.
Or just cut back on consumption - fewer transoceanic flights, less stuff from China.

Better batteries could help with ground transport, and very short range aviation and shipping, but not long haul.

Calgarygary

Even if this is only a short term outage it will be of great benefit for oilsands developers and operators in Alberta as it will give credence to the argument that it is better to rely on petroleum sources from more stable countries. In the same way it could accelerate the development of alternative energies like EV's for mobility as it highlights the fragility of global oil supplies.

There is a widely held belief in Alberta that environmental and indigenous groups opposing pipeline development in Canada are secretly funded by international interests who benefit from suppressing expansion of the oilsands. So much so that our recently elected UCP provincial government ran on a promise to set up a "war room" to investigate and disclose who those interests might be. I don't follow these theories that closely, however, it seems to me that the list of beneficiaries that could benefit from suppressing Canadian oil could include Russia, Saudi Arabia, certain American refiners like Koch industries and who knows.

So if the Alberta war room discovers that Saudi's were secretly supporting anti-pipeline groups in Canada, then maybe the war room would rationalize that its ok to secretly support whoever attacked the Saudi facility?

Trump tweeted there is reason to believe he knows who done it, but at the same time it seems to me there is equally good reason to believe he hasn't got a clue. It could have been the Alberta War Room.

Good work Jason.

Lad

So, the wars for oil continue, what's new? What's new is; in an Electric World, 'ENERGY IS LOCAL' and not dependent on relationships between countries...hopefully, this will lead to less wars.

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