** Sagar Sandesh print version ceases to be published from December 31, 2017. New look E-paper would be available from Jan. 1, 2018 onwards. free of cost.**

Saudi shuts major oil pipeline after drone attacks

Drone attacks claimed by Iran-aligned Yemen rebels shut down one of Saudi Arabia’s major oil pipelines on Tuesday, further ratcheting up Gulf tensions after the mysterious sabotage of several tankers.

Days after the United States deployed bombers and an assault ship to bolster an aircraft carrier in the region, the world’s largest crude exporter said two pumping stations had been targeted early Tuesday.

They lie on the East-West Pipeline, able to pump five million barrels of oil a day from the oil-rich eastern province to a Red Sea export terminal.

The announcement came hours after Yemen’s Huthi rebels said they had targeted vital installations in Saudi Arabia, which leads a military coalition against them.

Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said Saudi Aramco had “temporarily shut down” the pipeline to “evaluate its condition” but added that oil production and exports had not been interrupted.

“The company (Saudi Aramco) is working on restoring the pumping station before resuming operations,” he said in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency.

The stations reportedly targeted lie west of Riyadh, at Dawadmi and Afeef.

Falih said Tuesday’s incident was an “act of terrorism… that not only targets the kingdom but also the security of oil supplies to the world and the global economy”.

Huthi spokesman Mohammed Abdulsalam wrote on Twitter that the attacks were “a response to the aggressors continuing to commit genocide” against the Yemeni people.

In a statement carried by the rebel-run Al-Masirah TV, the Huthis warned of other “unique operations… if the aggressors continue with their crimes and blockade”.

“We are capable of executing unique operations on a bigger and wider scale in the hearts of the enemy countries,” they said.

Washington and Tehran played down tensions after trading barbs as the Americans sent an aircraft carrier group and nuclear-capable B-52 bombers to the region to counter alleged threats from Saudi arch-rival Iran.

"We fundamentally do not seek a war with Iran," Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said at a joint news conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Sochi.

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said "this face-off is not military because there is not going to be any war" with the United States.

 

Disclaimer
Copyright © 2019 PORT TO PORT - Shipping Services Portal ( Sagar Sandesh ). All rights reserved.

Follow Us