Saudi Arabia: drone attack on refinery in Riyadh

Oil supplies unaffected after small fire put out

A still image of a drone attack on a Saudi oil refinery.
Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

An oil refinery in Saudi Arabia's capital city Riyadh came under drone attack on Thursday, causing a small fire.

Petroleum supplies were not affected by the attack at 4.40am local time. The fire was controlled and did not result in any injuries or casualties, Saudi state news agency SPA reported.

“The refinery's operations and supplies of petroleum and its derivatives were not affected,” an Energy Ministry spokesman said.

The ministry did not indicate where the attack originated and no one has yet claimed responsibility.

Brent, the global benchmark for two thirds of the world's oil, was trading 0.36 per cent lower at $109.10 a barrel at 7.24am UAE time on Friday while West Texas Intermediate, the gauge that tracks US crude, was 0.19 per cent higher at $106.20 a barrel.

Saudi Arabia, the world's top oil exporter, has faced frequent missile and drone assaults by Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthi group, which has been battling a coalition led by Riyadh for seven years.

The attacks have been focused on oil installations, including the pipelines and storage units of Saudi Aramco, the world's biggest corporate oil producer.

“These repeated acts of sabotage and terrorism on vital installations and civilian structures … do not just target the kingdom but aim to undermine the security and stability of global energy supplies,” the Energy Ministry spokesman said.

Arab nations, including the UAE, Egypt and Jordan, as well as the Arab Parliament, condemned the attack.

The UAE's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said: "This attack is a cowardly terrorist act and a war crime that requires a response against threats to the security and safety of civilians and vital facilities".

Saudi Arabia has accused Iran of arming the Houthis and has blamed Tehran for past attacks. Tehran denies the accusations.

The Houthis took over Sanaa in 2014, prompting an intervention by the Saudi-led coalition the following year.

Updated: March 12, 2022, 6:28 AM
NEWSLETTERS
MORE FROM THE NATIONAL