Saudi Arabia Reports Drone Attack against Pipeline Infrastructure

Oil prices rose sharply Tuesday morning on reports of a drone attack at oil pumping stations in Saudi Arabia, CNBC informs.

The incident is an “act of terrorism,” Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said according to the Saudi state news agency SPA, describing attacks on two oil pumping stations near Riyadh for the country’s East-West pipeline carried out with bomb-laden drones.

Brent crude futures were up 1.7% at $71.39 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures settled at $61.86 per barrel, up 1.2%.

The fire has since been contained, according to the SPA. Al-Falih asserted that oil production was not interrupted. State oil company Saudi Aramco said that its oil and gas supplies to Europe have not been affected, and that no one was injured, CNBC adds.

“This act of terrorism and sabotage in addition to recent acts in the Arabian Gulf do not only target the Kingdom but also the security of world oil supplies and the global economy,” al-Falih said.

No one has yet been directly accused of carrying out the attack, but a Yemeni Houthi-run TV channel announced on Tuesday morning it had launched drone attacks on several Saudi installations.

The channel Masirah TV, citing a Houthi military official, reported that “seven drones carried out attacks on vital Saudi installations.”

“These attacks prove again that it is important for us to face terrorist entities, including the Houthi militias in Yemen that are backed by Iran,” al-Falih stressed.

Yemen’s Houthi rebels, who are supported by Iran, have been fighting Saudi Arabia in their country since the kingdom launched an offensive against it in early 2015 in defense of its internationally-recognized government, which the Houthis had overthrown. The more than four-year long conflict has been deemed by the UN as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

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