Sunday, March 3, 2024

Saudi officials confirm drone attack on oil refinery caused fire

A drone attack on an oil refinery in the Saudi capital caused a small fire but no disruption to supplies, officials announced Friday. It comes as crude prices have soared after Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The act of “sabotage and terrorism” follows a series of similar attacks on Saudi facilities by Yemen’s Huthi rebels, who are fighting a Saudi-led coalition. The attack took place in the early hours of Thursday morning.

“The Riyadh oil refinery was attacked by a drone, resulting in a small fire that has been brought under control,” the energy ministry said, according to the official Saudi Press Agency, without directly blaming the Huthis.

“The attack did not result in any injury or death, nor was the supply of oil or its derivatives affected,” it added.

Brent oil prices have seesawed between $139 and $105 in extreme volatility this week, after the war in Ukraine prompted concerns over supplies. Saudi Arabia, one of the world’s biggest oil exporters, and its partners in the OPEC alliance have come under pressure to raise production to help rein in prices.

Saudi Arabia launched the devastating war against Yemen in March 2015 in collaboration with a number of its allies and with arms and logistics support from the US and several Western states.

The objective was to bring back to power the former Riyadh-backed regime and crush the popular Ansarullah resistance movement, which has been running state affairs in the absence of an effective government in Yemen.

The war has stopped well short of all of its goals, despite killing hundreds of thousands of Yemenis and turning the entire country into the scene of the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

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