UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (OBSERVATORY) — When 18 drones hit the world’s largest oil processing plant in Saudi Arabia on Saturday, about 100 workers rushed to work on Saturday night to fight the fires that broke out.
Within minutes, emergency teams arrived at the site at the Abqaiq plant and another nearby site in Khurais, the kingdom’s second largest oil field.
Six days after the attack, which struck the heart of Saudi Arabia’s energy industry and exacerbated the decades-old conflict between Saudi Arabia and its arch-foe Iran, state oil firm Aramco opened the signatories to global media on Friday to inspect damage and reform efforts.
Washington and Riyadh have rejected Yemen’s Houthi group’s claim of responsibility for the attack and both countries have blamed Iran, which has denied any role.
Aramco representatives told reporters how the attack took place and what measures the world’s largest oil company was taking to return to normal production levels as it prepared to announce an initial public offering.
Fahad Abdul-Karim, general manager of Aramco’s southern oil business region, said the missiles rained Khurais between 0331 and 0348, adding that firefighters rushed to the site and put out two fires in five minutes.
He added that once it reached the site, the area witnessed further strikes, noting that extinguishing two other fires took five hours.
Khalid al-Buraik, vice president of oil business at Aramco’s southern business district, said it took seven hours to put out the fires in Abqaiq.
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