A damaged installation in Saudi Arabia's Abqaiq oil processing plant is pictured on September 20, 2019. - Saudi Arabia said on September 17 its oil output will return to normal by the end of September, seeking to soothe rattled energy markets after attacks on two instillations that slashed its production by half. The strikes on Abqaiq - the world's largest oil processing facility - and the Khurais oil field in eastern Saudi Arabia roiled energy markets and revived fears of a conflict in the tinderbox Gulf region. (Photo by Fayez Nureldine / AFP) (Photo credit should read FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP/Getty Images)
Saudia Arabia reveals damaged oil facility as Iran gets hostile
Saudi Arabia has shown the world its damage to its oil facilities from attacks that Washington and Riyadh blame on Iran.
The tour of its melted pipes and burnt equipment came as Tehran vowed wide retaliation if heightened tensions boil over into hostilities.
The kingdom sees the September 14 strikes on its Khurais and Abqaiq facilities – the worst attack on Gulf oil infrastructure since Iraq’s Saddam Hussein torched Kuwaiti oilfields in 1991 – as a test of global will to preserve international order.
President Donald Trump said on Friday the United States was imposing sanctions on Iran’s central bank over the attack. US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the bank was Tehran’s last source of funds.
Asked about the possibility of a military response on Iran, Mr Trump said the US was always prepared and that a military strike was always a possibility.
Iran denies involvement in the attack, which initially halved oil output from Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest petroleum exporter. Responsibility was claimed by Yemen’s Houthi movement, an Iran-aligned group fighting a Saudi-led alliance in Yemen’s four-year-old conflict.
At Abqaiq, one of the world’s largest oil processing plants, reporters saw a punctured, blackened stabiliser tower that Khalid Buraik, Saudi Aramco vice-president for southern area oil operations, said would have to be replaced.