Saudi Arabia ‘temporarily’ halts production at attacked oil plants: Minister

Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said the temporary halt in operations led to the interruption about 50 percent of total production. SPA

RIYADH — Saudi Arabia has temporarily halted production at two Aramco oil facilities that were attacked, interrupting about half of the company's total output, Energy Minister Pince Abdulaziz Bin Salman said.

The attacks "resulted in a temporary suspension of production at Abqaiq and Khurais plants," Prince Abdulaziz said in a statement carried by Saudi Press Agency. It led to the interruption of about 50 percent of total production, he added.

He also confirmed that the attacks caused a halt in associated gas production of about 2 billion cubic feet per day.

The minister said the attacks, however, did not have any impact on the supply of electricity and water supplies from the fuel, or on the supply of the domestic market of hydrocarbons.

"These attacks resulted in production suspension of 5.7 million barrels of crude oil per day," Aramco said in a separate statement.

Aramco CEO Amin Nasser said work was under way to restore production and a progress update would be provided in the next two days.

Nasser said "no injuries" were reported in the attacks.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iran for the strikes. "Iran has now launched an unprecedented attack on the world's energy supply," Pompeo said. — AFP