May 14, 2019 15:40 UTC
  • Saudi halts pumping on major oil pipeline after Yemeni drone strike

The Saudi energy minister says the kingdom has stopped pumping crude oil on a major pipeline across the country after retaliatory drone strikes carried out by Yemeni army forces and their allies.

Khalid A. Al-Falih said the national petroleum and natural gas company, Saudi Aramco, on Tuesday halted oil pumping on the pipeline from the oil-rich Eastern Province to the Red Sea, while the damage was being evaluated and its two targeted pumping stations were being repaired.

“Saudi Aramco took precautionary measures and temporarily stopped operation of the pipeline, as it is evaluating the situation and working on restoring the operations of the affected pump station and the pipeline,” he said in a statement published by state news agency SPA.

He described the attack “an act of terrorism,” asserting that Saudi oil output and exports for crude and refined products were continuing without disruption.

The 1,200-kilometer (750-mile) pipeline, which reportedly has a capacity of at least five million barrels per day, carries crude oil from Saudi Arabia’s main eastern fields to the Red Sea port city of Yanbu in the west.

The targeted pumping stations are located in the towns of Dawadmi and Afif, which lie in the Najd region west of the capital, Riyadh.

Earlier in the day, an unnamed Yemeni military source told Arabic-language al-Masirah television network that Yemeni soldiers, backed by allied fighters from Popular Committees, launched a major operation against the strategic economic target in Saudi Arabia in retaliation for the Riyadh regime’s devastating military aggression and siege of the impoverished country.

The source added that seven unmanned aerial vehicles were involved in the attacks.

Meanwhile, global oil prices rose in the aftermath of Yemeni drone strikes on the two pumping stations belonging to state oil company Saudi Aramco.

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