Journalists visit sites affected by Saudi Aramco attack

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More than 80 international journalists visited on Friday the sites of attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil industry that shook global energy markets over the weekend.

Saudi Arabia flew the journalists to see Saudi Arabia’s Abqaiq oil-processing facility, described by Saudi Aramco as “the largest crude oil stabilization plant in the world.”

The journalists also visited the Khurais oil field to see the damage from the attack. The oil field is believed to produce over 1 million barrels of crude oil a day. It has estimated reserves of over 20 billion barrels of oil, according to Aramco.

Officials said 110 contractors evacuated the site after the attack, but there were no injuries. They told journalists the oil field was back online within 24 hours of the attack.

An oil stabilization tower could be seen to be damaged by the attack, standing charred in the heat of Friday afternoon in the Saudi desert. Other pipes bore holes from damage in the attack.

The Abqaiq facility processes sour crude oil into sweet crude, then transports it onto transshipment points on the Arabian Gulf and the Red Sea or to refineries for local production. Estimates suggest it can process up to 7 million barrels of crude oil a day.

By comparison, Saudi Arabia produced 9.65 million barrels of crude oil a day in July.

- With Agencies.