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Aramco stations ‘attacked’ by drones

Officials report ‘limited’ hit at two sites near Saudi capital Riyadh

Unidentified drones have attacked two oil pumping stations owned by Saudi Aramco near the Saudi capital of Riyadh, according to officials.

A security spokesman for the Saudi government said on Tuesday the “limited attack” targeted two sites in the Dawadmi and Afif provinces.

The incident occurred between 6AM and 6:30AM local time, on Tuesday.

Aramco has stopped pumping oil via the two affected stations, while the damage is being assessed and the stations repaired, the spokesman said.

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No injuries have been reported so far.

The facilities are linked to the East-West pipeline, which transports Saudi oil from the region’s eastern fields to the western part of the nation.

“The Kingdom condemns this cowardly attack. This recent terrorist and sabotage act in the Arabian Gulf against vital installations, not only targets the Kingdom but also the safety of the world’s energy supply and global economy,” Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources, Khalid al-Faleh said.

Al-Faleh linked the attack to Iranian-backed Houthi militia in Yemen, however, no one has claimed responsibility for it yet.

The minister added in a statement to state news agency SPA that Saudi oil exports will continue without interruption.

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The reported drone attack follows an incident on Monday off the coast of the United Arab Emirates, when two Saudi oil tankers were among vessels targeted by “sabotage”.

The UAE said on Sunday that four commercial vessels were sabotaged near Fujairah emirate, one of the world's largest bunkering hubs lying just outside the Strait of Hormuz. It did not say who was behind the operation.

Al-Falih said in a statement at the time that one of the two Saudi vessels attacked was on its way to be loaded with Saudi crude from the Ras Tanura port for delivery to state-owned Saudi Aramco's customers in the US.

The attack did not lead to any casualties nor any oil spill but was said to have caused significant damage to the structures of the two vessels.

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