Khurais: Saudi Arabia on Friday took media to inspect oil facilities hit by attacks that Washington and Riyadh blame on Iran, showing melted pipes and burnt equipment.
The kingdom sees the Sept 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.
At Khurais, Reuters reporters were shown repair work under way, with cranes erected around two burnt-out stabilisation columns, which form part of oil-gas separation units, and melted pipes.
“We are working 24/7,” one executive of state oil giant Saudi Aramco said, adding that Aramco was confident full production at Khurais would resume by the end of September.
Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir said on Thursday the attacks were an “extension of the Iranian regime’s hostile and outlawed behaviour”.
Iran has warned U.S. President Donald Trump against being dragged into a war in the Middle East and said it would meet any offensive action with a crushing response.
Tehran amplified that message on Friday when a senior Revolutionary Guards commander said Iran would respond from the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean against any U.S. plots.
“If the Americans think of any plots, the Iranian nation will respond from the Mediterranean, to the Red Sea and to the Indian Ocean,” said General Yahya Rahim-Safavi, a senior adviser to Iran’s supreme leader, state news agency IRNA reported.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had called the attacks an “act of war” but on Thursday he said Trump, who has ordered more sanctions on Iran, wants a peaceful solution to the crisis.
“We are here to build out a coalition aimed at achieving peace and a peaceful resolution. That’s my mission, that’s what President Trump certainly wants me to work to achieve and I hope that the Islamic Republic of Iran sees it that way,” Pompeo said.