Saudi shuts major oil pipeline after Houthi drone attacks

Saudi shuts major oil pipeline after Houthi drone attacks

Al-Falih condemned the latest attacks, along with the Sunday attacks against four ships including two Saudi oil vessels near the port of Fujairah, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), for attempting to destabilize the worldwide energy supply.

US national security agencies believe proxies sympathetic to or working for Iran may have attacked four tankers off the United Arab Emirates rather than Iranian forces themselves, a USA official familiar with the latest US assessments said on Tuesday.

He added that the attack on Saudi oil facilities showed that the rebels are not ready to promote peace and are obviously acting according to their close ties with their foreign allies.

What's really behind these series of attacks?

"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.

"Given that almost one-third of global oil production and almost all of global spare capacity are in the Middle East, the oil market is very sensitive to any attacks on oil infrastructure in this region", Swiss bank UBS said.

The conflict in Yemen is a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Iran has since said it would begin enriching uranium at higher levels by July 7 if world powers failed to negotiate new terms for the deal.


Earlier in the day, Saudi Arabia's Ambassador to Yemen Mohamed al-Jaber said in a tweet that the Houthi militia proves its obedience to Iran by "serving its terrorist agenda" at the expense of Yemeni people and regional security.

Saudi Arabia has been leading a Sunni Arab military coalition against the Yemeni Shiite Houthi rebels since March 2015 to support the internationally-recognized government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi after the rebels forced him into exile and seized much of Yemen's north, including the capital Sanaa.

Riyadh leads the pro-government military coalition in the four-year civil war that has torn Yemen apart, killed tens of thousands and left much of the population on the brink of starvation. It's unclear what impact Tuesday's attacks and any possible retaliation by the coalition will have on the withdrawal. The fire was contained, he added.

Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest oil exporter, is likely to raise its production much more cautiously than past year when production from the Kingdom rose to record highs above 11 million bpd in November after calls from Trump to replace Iranian barrels.

State-run Aramco said it had temporarily shut down the East-West pipeline, known as Petroline, for evaluation. United States intelligence sources have alleged Iran is behind the unexplained attacks, but added Washington does not have enough proof to back that claim.

This was not the first time the Houthis have targeted Saudi Arabia with drones and missiles.

The drone assault is just the latest incident in the Mideast to shake global energy markets, as authorities allege oil tankers anchored off the coast of the United Arab Emirates were targeted by sabotage.

In a statement carried by rebel-run Al-Masirah TV, the Huthis warned of other "unique operations. if the aggressors continue with their crimes and blockade".

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