Saudi Arabia has announced that it has “temporarily shut down” one of its main pipelines after an attack on Tuesday.
The announcement comes after Yemen’s Houthi rebels said they had targeted vital installations in Saudi Arabia, which leads a military coalition against them.
Khalid al-Falih, Saudi Energy Minister, said Aramco, the country’s oil corporation, had closed the pipeline to “evaluate its condition”, but added that oil production and exports had not been interrupted.
“The company (Saudi Aramco) is working on restoring the pumping station before resuming operations,” he said in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency.
The stations reportedly targeted lie west of Riyadh, at Dawadmi and Afeef.
Read Also: Saudi Alleges Sabotage After Attack On Two Oil Tankers In UAE
Falih said Tuesday’s incident was an “act of terrorism… that not only targets the kingdom but also the security of oil supplies to the world and the global economy”.
Houthi spokesman, Mohammed Abdusalam, wrote on Twitter that the attacks were “a response to the aggressors continuing to commit genocide” against the Yemeni people.
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates intervened in the Yemen war to bolster the internationally-recognised government’s efforts against the Huthis in March 2015.
The 1,200-kilometre (750-mile) pipeline reportedly hit on Tuesday serves as an alternative for Saudi crude exports if the strategically vital Strait of Hormuz at the mouth of the Gulf were to be closed.
Iran has repeatedly threatened to close the strait in case of a military confrontation with the United States.
The reported pipeline attacks came after the UAE said four ships were damaged in “sabotage attacks” off the emirate of Fujairah, close to the Hormuz, on Sunday.
Washington and its Gulf allies stopped short of blaming Riyadh’s regional arch-rival Tehran for the sabotage, but US President Donald Trump warned Iran against doing anything to harm US interests.
“If they (Iran) do anything, it would be a very bad mistake,” Trump warned at the White House.
The attacks came after the United States deployed the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier group, an amphibious assault vessel, a Patriot missile battery and B-52 bombers, triggering fears of a possible military confrontation.
“In an environment of rising regional tensions, limited Iranian operations against the UAE and Saudi Arabia might be designed to dissuade Abu Dhabi and Riyadh and signal that war with Iran will not be limited to Iranian soil,” said Alex Vatanka, senior fellow at the Middle East Institute.
A UAE government official said the Saudi oil tankers Al-Marzoqah and Amjad were attacked off the emirate of Fujairah, along with the Norwegian tanker Andrea Victory and an Emirati ship, the A. Michel.
No casualties were reported and none of the vessels sank.
The UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Anwar Gargash, said the Emirates will probe the “deliberate sabotage”.
Saudi Arabia said its two tankers suffered “significant damage” but there was no oil spill.
The Andrea Victory’s managers, Thome Group, said the ship’s hull had been pierced “after being struck by an unknown object on the waterline”.
The United Nations urged all sides to “exercise restraint for the sake of regional peace.”
Oil prices initially spiked in response to news of the attacks, but were largely flat in trading on Tuesday.