Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 22 October 2019

Aftermath of Saudi Aramco attacks - in pictures

Despite the extent of the damage, company officials are optimistic that oil production capacity can be fully restored by the end of September

The weekend assault on two Saudi Aramco oil facilities saw one of the targets struck four times, sparking fires that took five hours to extinguish, the national oil company said on Friday.

At Saudi Aramco's Khurais oilfield in the Kingdom's eastern province, a charred web of pipes and supports was flanked by cranes as staff assessed the extensive damage to an oil stabiliser apparatus.

The US has blamed Iran for the attacks, which have been claimed by Tehran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen, condemning them as an "act of war" which knocked out half the kingdom's oil production.

"There were more than 200 to 300 people inside the facilities," said Fahad Al Abdulkareem, a general manager at Saudi Aramco, as he inspected the damage.

"The whole thing had happened, with four strikes and explosions, with no single injury to any of them."

Thick metal piping was badly warped and peppered with shrapnel during the aerial strikes and lay strewn around the area of the attack.

Saudi officials this week unveiled what they said were fragments of 25 drones and cruise missiles fired at the two oil facilities - the other being the Abqaiq processing plant - on Saturday.

Despite the extent of the damage, managers remain optimistic that production capacity can be fully restored by the end of September.

"An emergency team was assembled to restore the plant and the activities and bring the crude and the oil back. Within 24 hours, 30 per cent of the plant was in production," Mr Abdulkareem said.

"We will have production at the same level as before the strike by the end of this month - we are coming back stronger."

on Tuesday, Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said the kingdom would have 11 million barrels per day of capacity on stream by the end of the month. Oil prices had marked the biggest intra-day jump in over two decades on Monday, after markets opened following the attacks.

Updated: September 21, 2019 11:46 AM

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