An official from the Saudi Aramco oil company on Tuesday said customers were unaffected by an attack that came from Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi militia at a petroleum products distribution plant in the north of Jeddah city.
Aramco’s oil production and export facilities are mostly in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province, more than 1,000 kilometer (620) from Jeddah.
One of the 13 tanks used for diesel oil, gasoline and jet fuel at Aramco’s North Jeddah Bulk Plant is currently out of action, the facility’s manager Abdullah al-Ghamdi told journalists on a tour.
Al-Ghamdi said they were still assessing the scale and cost of the damage from the attack which happened at 3:50 am Saudi time on Monday.
He described the site as a “critical facility” with total storage capacity of 5.2 million barrels. It can distribute more than 120,000 barrels of products per day domestically to Jeddah, Mecca and the al-Baha region.
“Within a minute [of the attack] the response team started the firefighting system which is fixed to the tank itself. A minute or two later the fire station crew arrived at the scene,” Ghamdi said.
A fire caused by the attack was extinguished in around 40 minutes with no casualties, he said.
“It was a big fire, a big explosion, but was dealt with swiftly,” Ghamdi said.
The projectile struck the storage tank, which has a maximum capacity of 500,000 barrels, from the top, causing “major damage” to its roof, with a hole around 2 meters square, the official said.
Black marks and some damage around its top rim were visible.
A projectile launched by Iran-backed Houthis in Yemen caused a fire at a petroleum products distribution station in Jedda, the Arab Coalition's spokesman Colonel Turki al-Maliki said on Monday.
Arab Coalition spokesman said: “The Iran-backed terrorist Houthi militia has been implicated in this cowardly terrorist attack, which does not target the Kingdom's national capabilities, but rather targets the global economy, its supplies and global energy security,” SPA reported.
The United Arab Emirates strongly condemned the “cowardly attack committed by the Iranian-backed Houthi militia terrorists” that targeted a petroleum products distribution station in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported on Monday.
- With Reuters