Drone attack! Saudi oil export facilities hit by worst attack in 2019

Saudi Arabia’s oil refining and oil depot facilities at the port of Rastanullah.

Saudi Arabia says one of the world’s most protected oil facilities was hit by a drone attack Sunday, but Crude Oil production was unaffected after an intense barrage of rockets and Drones was intercepted.

According to the Saudi energy ministry, an oil storage depot at the Ras Tanura export facility on the Gulf Coast was hit by a drone attack from the sea. Fragments of a rocket shell also landed near the residential area of employees of the state-run Saudi Aramco.

A spokesman for the Energy Ministry said “there were no casualties or property damage from the two attacks.” Another source familiar with the matter also said oil output was unaffected.

The Saudi-led military coalition said earlier it intercepted multiple rockets and drones launched from neighboring Yemen, just as two Houthi rebels in the kingdom claimed a string of attacks that saw eight rockets and 14 bomb-laden drones launched.

It was the most serious attack against Saudi oil construction since an attack on a key Saudi processing facility and two oil fields in September 2019 that cut oil production for several days and exposed the weaknesses of the Saudi oil industry. Houthi rebels claim they were responsible for that attack, although Riyadh authorities accuse Iran of being behind the hidden mirror.

Houthi rebels have been fighting Yemen’s U.N.-recognized government since 2014. The Saudi-led coalition stepped in every other year to support government forces. But Yemen’s civil war has killed more than 100,000 people in what the U.N. has called the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

The Saudi port of Rastanullah is the world’s largest oil port, exporting 6.5 million barrels of oil per day, nearly 7 percent of current global demand, making it the most protected oil facility in the world. The port has numerous large storage depots for the preservation of crude oil before it is injected into supertankers.