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Saudi Arabia's key oil pipeline hit by drones — minister

The navigation and the operation of ports had not been disrupted

KUWAIT CITY, May 14. /TASS/. The central oil pipeline in Saudi Arabia has been hit by drones, Saudi Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Khalid al-Falih said on Tuesday.

"The East-West Crude Oil Pipeline has been attacked by explosive-laden drones," the Beirut-based Al Mayadeen TV channel quotes him as saying. "The national Saudi Aramco company halted oil pumping in the pipeline."

At the same time, al-Falih did not specify who could have been behind the attack.

According to the minister, at 6-6:30 a.m. local time drones hit two pumping stations of the pipeline used to transport oil from the oil deposits in the East of the kingdom to the port of Yanbu in the West. The attack caused fire, the station 8 was slightly damaged. The fire was controlled, the Saudi Press Agency said.

ThemMinister said that the kingdom condemns this attack, underlining the fact that this act of terrorism and sabotage in addition to the recent incident in the Persian Gulf is targeting not only Saudi Arabia, but also the security of global oil supplies and the world economy. Al-Falih also stressed that export and extraction of oil had not been halted, the agency reported.

On May 12, the UAE Foreign Ministry reported that four commercial ships had been "subjected to sabotage operations" in the Emirati exclusive economic zone, there were no injuries or fatalities on board and "no spillage of harmful chemicals or fuel". The authorities "took all the necessary measures" and started investigating the incident "in cooperation with local and international bodies". The statement underlined that navigation and the operation of ports had not been disrupted, however, it was not specified who had masterminded the attacks. Later, Minister al-Falih said that two out of four ships that had been subjected to sabotage were Saudi oil tankers. According to him, the attack "did not lead to any casualties or an oil spill but damaged the structures of the two vessels.".