Mon, 18 Nov 2019

Saudi Aramco showed it has made significant progress in restoring damaged oil infrastructure to normal operation just a month after a devastating aerial attack halted production. But work remains to be done.

A visit to the Khurais oil field on Saturday revealed gleaming stabilisation towers, four of which were hit in the strike by missiles and drones on Sept. 14. While one of the towers shown to reporters remained a charred wreck, Aramco insisted that the site is now able to operate at full capacity for limited periods.

Workers at the state-run oil giant worked 24 hours a day to restore supply after the attacks on Khurais and the Abqaiq processing plant disabled 5% of global supply. A trip to Khurais a week after the assault showed equipment scorched and ruptured, with several stabilisation units - 90-meter towers that reduce pressure and remove gas from the crude - burnt out.

Yet Aramco made surprisingly swift progress with repairs, returning production to pre-attack levels by the end of last month. Oil prices, having surged the most on record immediately after the strikes, gave up their gains as traders turned their attention to slowing economic growth and demand concerns.

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