Riyadh, Sep 15: Saudi Arabia has cut down half of its oil and gas production after a series of drone attacks on two major oil facilities run by state-owned company Aramco.
Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said on Saturday that the strikes had reduced crude oil production by 5.7m barrels a day - about half the kingdom's output, CNBC reported.
In a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), Prince Abdulaziz said the attacks "resulted in a temporary suspension of production at Abqaiq and Khurais plants. He said that part of the reduction would be compensated for by drawing on Aramco's oil stocks. The situation was under control at both facilities, Aramco CEO Amin Nasser said, adding that no casualties had been reported in the attacks.
Meanwhile, Yemen’s Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was one of their largest attacks ever inside the kingdom. 'We promise the Saudi regime that our future operations will expand and be more painful as long as its aggression and siege continue.The attack deployed 10 drones, ' a Houthi spokesman said.
However, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iran for the attacks saying there was no evidence they got from Yemen. 'Tehran is behind nearly 100 attacks on Saudi Arabia while Rouhani and Zarif pretend to engage in diplomacy. Amid all the calls for de-escalation, Iran has now launched an unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply. There is no evidence the attacks came from Yemen', Pompeo wrote on Twitter.
'We call on all nations to publicly and unequivocally condemn Iran's attacks. The US would work with its allies to ensure energy markets remain well supplied and Iran is held accountable for its aggression', Mr Pompeo added.
The White House said Mr Trump had offered US support to help Saudi Arabia defend itself while the Saudi interior ministry said investigations into the terrorist attack are ongoing. UNI