ENERGY

Saudi Aramco allows employees into Abqaiq facility for first time since attacks

Saudi Aramco has allowed its employees to re-enter the Abqaiq oil-processing facility. (File photo: AFP)

Saudi Aramco has allowed its employees to re-enter the Abqaiq oil-processing facility for the first time since Saturday's attacks, which took offline 50 percent of Saudi Arabia's oil production, sources close to the matter told Al Arabiya on Tuesday.

Aramco already determined the extent of the damage to its oil-processing facilities - and the associated repair time - following the drone attacks on its sites, sources familiar with the matter told Al Arabiya on Tuesday.

Al Arabiya’s sources noted that contractors had been called to the scene of the attacks to assess damage and repairs.

The report that contractors are involved, and not other service providers, is an indication that the damage is confined to pipeline and storage unit systems, the sources told Al Arabiya.

Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman will hold a press conference on Tuesday following the attacks, the media ministry said. Aramco has also asked the energy ministry to speak on its behalf, sources told Al Arabiya.

The Kingdom has been able to restore a third of its oil production that had been lost as a result of Saturday’s attacks on its key oil-processing facilities, according to Refinitiv tracking data seen by Al Arabiya English on Monday.

Around 6.4 million barrels per day (bpd) are usually shipped out from Saudi Arabia's ports, according to tracking data. Between Sunday and Monday, two million bpd have left its ports, Al Arabiya English reported earlier.

Prince Abdulaziz said on Sunday that the aerial attacks took off line 5.7 million barrels per day (bpd) of its crude oil production, which is about 50 percent of the Kingdom's recent output of around 9.85 million bpd.

 -Fatima Daoui, Al Arabiya, contributed to this article.

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Last Update: Tuesday, 17 September 2019 KSA 19:40 - GMT 16:40
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