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Saudi Arabia: major fire at world's largest oil refinery after drone attack

Yasser bin Othman Al-Rumayyan, chairman of the board of directors of Saudi Aramco, issued a statement during a Wednesday morning press conference, saying the attacks on the Aramco plants in Abqaiq and Khurais in the Arab peninsula “will not delay the initial public offering (IPO) of Aramco and will not delay its preparations.”

Al-Rumayyan insisted that the national oil giant’s IPO woud be ready in the next 12 months and the kingdom is committed to the listing.

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According to Al Jazeera, the pre-dawn attacks on Saturday knocked out more than half of the Saudi crude oil output – constituting 5% of the global oil supply. The damage was estimated at a cut in output of 5.7 million barrels a day.

Meanwhile, an official at the Saudi defense ministry on Tuesday announced that the Kingdom had decided to join the International Maritime Security Construct which protects the security of merchant vessels sailing through the Strait of Hormuz. The IMSC’s area of operation covers the Straits of Hormuz and Bab Al Mandab, as well as the Sea of Oman and the Persian Gulf.

‏The Kingdom’s decision to participate in the international naval force in the gulf is based on its support for regional and international efforts to deter threats to maritime safety, the official explained.

Saudi Arabia has vowed to “confront and deal with this terrorist aggression,” while President Donald Trump announced US troops were “locked and loaded” and were only waiting for confirmation of the culprit’s identity (can you say “Iran?”) and for a Saudi decision as to where to point US weapons.

Also, in another show of a robust recovery from the two-headed attacks on his country’s largest oil reserves, Saudi Aramco president and chief executive officer Amin Al-Nasser predicted the restoration of Saudi Aramco’s full production capacity. He cited many of the company’s retired employees, Saudis and non-Saudis alike, who have expressed their desire to volunteer for the support teams who are restoring the oil fields and refineries.

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