Yemen’s Houthi rebels on Saturday have claimed responsibility for drone attacks on two Saudi Aramco oil refineries in Saudi Arabia, which took place early on Saturday.
Yemeni TV channel al-Masirah said the Houthis had deployed 10 drones against the sites in Abqaiq and Khurais, and the group pledged to extend the range of its attacks on Saudi Arabia, which is leading a coalition fighting them in Yemen.
The attacks caused huge fires that were later extinguished by the Saudi authorities, a Saudi interior ministry spokesman said.
Abqaiq, 60 km (37 miles) southwest of Dhahran in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province contains the world’s largest oil processing plant and Khurais, 190 km further southwest, contains the country’s second largest oilfield.
Tensions are running high in the region after attacks in June and July on oil tankers in Gulf waters that Riyadh and Washington blamed on Iran. Tehran denies the accusations.
Iran-aligned Houthi fightershave also launched attacks over the border, hitting Shaybah oilfield with drones last month and two oil pumping stations in May. Both attacks caused fires but did not disrupt production.
Security forces foiled an al Qaeda attack on Abqaiq in 2006.
Aramco is preparing to float shares as early as this year as part of efforts to diversify the economy of the world’s top oil exporter away from crude. It has hired nine banks as joint global coordinators to lead the IPO and has been meeting bankers this week in Dubai as it speeds up the listing plans.