Saudi Arabia says oil facility attacks target world supplies

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RIYADH: Saudi Arabia, the world’s top crude exporter, said Wednesday that attacks on two of its tankers and a major pipeline targeted the security of global oil supplies.

Drone attacks claimed by Yemen’s Huthis shut down one of the kingdom’s main oil pipelines on Tuesday, further ratcheting up Gulf tensions after the mysterious sabotage of four ships, two of them Saudi tankers, on Sunday.

“The cabinet affirms that these acts of terrorism and sabotage … do not only target the kingdom but also the security of world oil supplies and the global economy,” it said after a meeting chaired by King Salman in the Red Sea city of Jeddah on Tuesday evening.

Tuesday’s drone strikes hit two pumping stations on the kingdom’s east-west pipeline, which can carry five million barrels of crude per day and provides a strategic alternative route for Saudi exports if the shipping lane from the Gulf through the Strait of Hormuz is closed.

Yemen’s Huthi rebels claimed responsibility for the strikes and said they were a response to “crimes” committed by Saudi Arabia and its allies during more than four years of war in support of the government.

At present, most Saudi exports are loaded onto tankers at terminals on the kingdom’s Gulf coast and must pass through the Strait of Hormuz.

The Saudi cabinet called for “confronting terrorist entities which carry out such sabotage acts, including the Huthi militias in Yemen”.

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