- Jul 2011
Drone attacks spark huge fire at world's biggest oil processing facilityDrones set fire to the world’s largest oil processing facility and a major oilfield in Saudi Arabia in a series of targeted attacks, according to the Kingdom’s interior ministry.
Video footage posted online showed flames and smoke billowing from the key sites at Buqyaq and Khurais after the assaults were launched early on Saturday morning.
Yemen’s Houthi rebels, who have been waging a five-year war with the kingdom, claimed responsibility for the “massive offensive operation” and said ten drones were used in the “bombing”.
The group’s military spokesman Yahia Sarie, in a televised address on Al Masirah TV, warned of further action if the conflict in Yemen continues. “The only option for the Saudi government is to stop attacking us,” he added.
No injuries were reported but the incident is likely to heighten tensions across the Persian Gulf, given that Iran has been accused of backing the rebel group by the US, UN and Saudi Arabia.
The kingdom’s interior ministry said in a statement that the fires were under control and an investigation into the attack was underway.
Saudi Aramco, the state-owned oil giant, described its Abqaiq oil processing facility in Buqyaq, around 200 miles northeast of the capital Riyadh, as “the largest crude oil stabilisation plant in the world”. Estimates suggest it can process up to seven million barrels of crude oil a day.
It has previously been targeted by militants, including a failed suicide bomber mission by Al Qaida in February 2006.
The Khurais oil field is believed to produce over one million barrels of crude oil a day and has estimated reserves of over 20 billion barrels of oil.
Following the attacks, suspicion immediately fell on the Houthi rebels, who have been fighting the Saudis in Yemen since March 2015 and hold the capital Sanaa.
In August Houthi drones struck Saudi Arabia’s Shaybah oil field, which produces some one million barrels of crude oil a day near the border with the United Arab Emirates.
Yemen’s civil war has become the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, killing more than 90,000 people and pushing the country to the brink of famine.
The Houthis are gonna win this war; while the Saudis and Emiratis and their proxies in Yemen been to busy fighting each other, lately: Proxy war BETWEEN Saudi & UAE in Yemen