Saudi oil strikes: USA blames Iran for twin attacks

Smoke is seen following a fire at an Aramco factory in Abqaiq Saudi Arabia

Saudi halts production at attacked oil plants: minister

In a statement on Sunday, Abbas Mousavi dismissed the allegation raised by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and by Republican Senator Lindsay Graham against Iran after Yemeni drone attacks on Saudi company Aramco's oil processing facilities.

There is no evidence the attacks came from Yemen." he tweeted, "We call on all nations to publicly and unequivocally condemn Iran's attacks.

Iran-backed Houthi rebels, fighting against a Saudi-led coalition in neighboring Yemen, claimed responsibility for "a large-scale operation involving 10 drones" on the Abqaid and Khurais oil facilities, run by the Saudi state-owned oil company, Aramco. They say they will quickly fix the facilities and deploy crude oil reserves to make up for the loss.

Saudi Arabia said Saturday it was ready to respond to drone attacks claimed by Iran-aligned Yemeni rebels on two major oil facilities, which severely disrupted production as Washington blamed Tehran for the strike.

Iran dismissed accusations by the United States that it was behind attacks on Saudi oil plants that risk disrupting global energy supplies and warned on Sunday that USA bases and aircraft carriers in the region were in range of its missiles. The facility processes sour crude oil into sweet crude, then transports it onto transshipment points on the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea or to refineries for local production. By comparison, Saudi Arabia produced 9.65 million barrels of crude oil a day in July.

Aramco is not only the world's biggest oil producer, it is also one of the world's most profitable businesses. "It's credible that the Iranians had something to do with this", said Maloney.

Riyadh said it would compensate for the loss by drawing on reserves which stood at 188 million barrels in June, according to official data. There was no immediate impact on global oil prices as markets were closed for the weekend.

Traders and analysts said crude may spike to as high as $100 if Riyadh fails to quickly bring back supply.

Abqaiq is about 60km south-west of Dhahran in Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province, while Khurais, some 200km further south-west, has the country's second largest oilfield.

"Tehran is behind almost 100 attacks on Saudi Arabia while Rouhani and Zarif pretend to engage in diplomacy".

The kingdom, the world's top oil exporter, ships more than 7 million barrels of oil to global destinations every day. The alliance has air supremacy but has come under global scrutiny over civilian deaths and a humanitarian crisis that has pushed millions to the brink of starvation.

Iran today dismissed as "meaningless" USA accusations it was behind drone attacks on Saudi oil installations, suggesting Washington was seeking a pretext to retaliate against the Islamic republic.

If the rebels were responsible for the attacks, their drones would have had to fly hundreds of miles from Yemen into central Saudi Arabia. In August, Houthi drones struck Saudi Arabia's Shaybah oil field.

Latest News