Drone attacks on two facilities of Saudi Arabia’s state-run oil producer Saudi Aramco sparked huge fires on Saturday morning, AFP reported. The attacks took place in the facilities in Abqaiq and Khurais.
Abqaiq has the world’s largest oil processing plant, and Khurais has the country’s second largest oilfield. The cause of the fires is not known yet, and there was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks. The precise targets and the extent of possible damage were also not stated, according to Reuters.
The Saudi interior ministry spokesperson said the fires were brought under control. “At 4 am the industrial security teams of Aramco started dealing with fires at two of its facilities in Abqaiq and Khurais as a result of...drones,” the ministry was quoted as saying in a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency.
It added that an investigation into the attack was underway.
Tensions in the region have increased after attacks on oil tankers in Gulf waters in June and July that Riyadh and Washington blamed on Iran. However, Tehran denied the accusations. Last month, Iran-aligned Houthi fighters in Yemen had also launched attacks across the border.
In February 2006, security forces had foiled an al Qaeda attack on Abqaiq.
The attacks on Saturday came as Saudi Arabia, the world’s top crude oil exporter, is preparing for a much-anticipated initial public offering of Aramco.
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