June 2019, Vol. 246, No. 6

Global News

Armed Drones Attack Oil Pumping Stations on Saudi Pipeline

Shippers and refiners put ships heading to the Middle East on alert last month after armed drones struck a Saudi Aramco pipeline and Saudi oil tankers were sabotaged off the coast of the United Arab Emirates.  

The energy minister of the world’s largest oil exporter said the drone attack on two of the oil pipeline’s pumping stations caused a fire and minor damage at one station, but did not disrupt oil output or exports of crude and petroleum products. A Houthi military spokesman claimed responsibility for the pipeline attack.  

State-run Aramco temporarily shut down the East-West pipeline, known as Petroline, to evaluate its condition. The pipeline mainly transports crude from the kingdom’s eastern fields to the port of Yanbu, which lies north of Bab al-Mandeb.  

Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said the drone attack and sabotage of four vessels, including two Saudi tankers, off Fujairah emirate, a major bunkering hub, threatened global oil supplies.  

A Saudi-led coalition has been battling the Houthis for four years in Yemen to try to restore the internationally recognized government, in a conflict widely seen as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran.  

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