Saudi Arabia has shut down its crude oil pipeline to Bahrain in the wake of crippling drone attacks by Yemeni forces against the Arab kingdom’s oil facilities, trade sources say.
The pipeline, carrying 220,000-230,000 barrels per day (bpd) of Arab Light crude from the state-run Saudi Arabian Oil Company, Aramco, to Bahrain’s state-run Petroleum Company, Bapco, was closed, Reuters quoted an unnamed source as saying on Monday.
Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah fighters on Saturday conducted drone strikes on Saudi Arabia’s two oil facilities in Abqaiq and Khurais, reducing output of mainly light crude grades by 5.7 million barrels.
The attacks led to a halt in about 50 percent of the Arab kingdom’s crude and gas production, causing a record surge in oil prices.
Bahrain’s oil company is currently working to secure vessels to import some two million barrels of Saudi crude as a result of the pipeline shutdown, another source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters on Monday.
The Abqaiq processing plant, one of Saudi Arabia’s targeted oil facilities on Saturday, processes crude from the Ghawar, Shaybah and Khurais fields that produce Arab Light or Arab Extra Light.
Aramco’s shutdown of pipeline has prompted Bahrain’s Bapco to shut down a 22,000 bpd crude distillation unit at its Sitrah refinery earlier in the day, according to an alert sent to clients from research company IIR.
According to the sources, another 22,000 bpd Crude Distillation Unit, 10,200 bpd Vacuum Distillation Unit 1 and 24,000 bpd Visbreaker Unit are also forced to reduce run rates to 45 percent.
Both Aramco and Bapco have not yet commented on the issue.