Saudi Arabia oil stations hit in terror drone attacks

The attacks happened on Tuesday morning. (File/Shutterstock)
Updated 15 May 2019

Saudi Arabia oil stations hit in terror drone attacks

  • Drones attacked two pumping stations in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia
  • Attacks in the Gulf and Saudi Arabia are aimed at the world and not just the Kingdom, Saudi energy minister said

RIYADH: Terrorists have attacked two pumping stations in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday morning, according to the energy minister Khalid Al-Falih.

Drones attacked two pumping stations of East-West pipeline, which carry Saudi oil from fields in the Eastern Province to the port of Yanbu on the west coast. 

The attacks caused a fire at station number 8, which Al-Falih said was controlled after causing limited damage.

Saudi Aramco later confirmed the attack in a statement, stating that it had “responded to a fire at East West Pipeline Pump station 8 which was caused by a sabotage incident using armed drones which targeted pump stations 8 and 9.”

“As a precautionary measure, the company temporarily shut down the pipeline, and contained the fire which caused minor damage to pump station 8. Saudi Aramco confirms that no injuries or fatalities have been reported. Saudi Aramco’s oil and gas supplies have not been impacted as a result of this incident.”

The Kingdom condemned Tuesday's attack and the recent attacks on ships in the Arabian Gulf, threatening oil output - Al-Falih said the Kingdom saw the attacks as a cowardly act of terror aimed at destruction. 

"Recent attacks in the Gulf and Saudi Arabia are aimed at the world and not just the Kingdom," Al-Falih said, adding: “This attack proves yet again the importance that all sides stand against such destructive terror attacks, including the Iran-backed Houthi militants.” 

On Tuesday, Al-Arabiya ran a statement from a spokesman for the Houthis who said seven drones targeted a pumping station near Yanbu.

The Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, condemned the attack saying it posed a serious threat to regional and international security and the global economy.

The Spokesman for the Secretary-General of the League, Ambassador Mahmoud Afifi, quoted Abul-Gheit as saying that the violation of the security of any Arab country is detrimental to Arab national security, stressing full solidarity with Saudi Arabia in the face of these terrorist threats aimed at provoking unrest in the region. He also stressed the need to “strengthen international solidarity to confront these criminal acts.”

The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said in a statement that it was in full solidarity with Saudi Arabia and stood with Riyadh against any threat to the security and stability of the Kingdom, and its citizens and residents, and its support for all measures to confront extremism and terrorism.

The statement added that the security of the UAE and Saudi Arabia is an integral part and that any threat or danger facing the Kingdom is considered by the state as a threat to the UAE’s security and stability system.

An official source at the Kuwaiti foreign ministry confirmed Kuwait’s support for the Kingdom and all measures taken to preserve its security and stability in the face of terrorist acts targeting Saudi Arabia’s security and stability, as well as the entire region.

“This cowardly terrorist act targeted the Kingdom and the region’s security and stability and threatens the safety of the world’s energy supply,” the Bahrain foreign ministry said in a statement issued by Bahrain News Agency.

The ministry praised the Kingdom’s efforts in dealing with this dangerous subversion, stressing “Bahrain’s strong solidarity with Saudi Arabia against anyone trying to threaten its security or harm its interests.”

It also stressed the need for the international community to act decisively to confront all groups and terrorist organizations and the countries that support them with the aim of seeking to provoke tension, violence and chaos in the region, in order to maintain regional and international peace and security.

The Egyptian foreign ministry said in a statement that Egypt was in solidarity with the government and the people of Saudi Arabia in confronting all attempts to undermine its security and stability, stressing their brotherly ties, established relations and coordination at the highest level in order to face common challenges and address terrorism.

Sufian Al-Qudah, spokesperson for the Jordanian foreign ministry, said that Jordan condemned the "cowardly terrorist attack" in the strongest terms and confirmed its stand with its brothers in Saudi Arabia in the face of any threat to the Kingdom’s security and stability.

He said in a press statement that targeting the Kingdom’s security meant targeting the security of the region and the world, noting that Jordan supported all actions and measures to maintain Saudi Arabia’s security and address terrorism in all forms and depictions.

He also stressed that the security of Saudi Arabia, the Arab Gulf and Jordan is one, stressing Jordan’s full solidarity with Kingdom and its confidence in their ability to protect their security and stability

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas expressed his country's support to the Kingdom, the king, government and people, stressing his confidence that Saudi Arabia will be able to overcome this crisis with determination and power. 

Yemen also condemned in the strongest terms the cowardly terrorist attack.

In a statement issued by the Yemeni news agency Saba, the Yemeni Republic affirmed its stand with the Kingdom in the face of any threat to its security and stability.

The statement pointed out that the approach adopted by the terrorist Houthi organization, since its inception, reflects Tehran's plans to destabilize security and stability and spread chaos in the Middle East, which is vital for the global economy.

"The targeting of Saudi Arabia by the Houthi terrorist militia with direct incitement from Iran can not be tolerated and constitutes a blatant violation of all peace efforts and threatens the collapse of all United Nations endeavors in Yemen," the statement said.

"Yemen is a leadership, a government and a people that renounces this disgraceful act of an outlawed group that has deviated from the values and morals of the Yemeni people, sold itself to the Iranian regime and has become a puppet in Yemen affirmed its support for the Kingdom, saying the continuation of such violations places the international community without exception in its collective responsibility in confronting this terrorist group and those behind it.

Tunisia, in a statement also expressed its "condemnation of this subversive action and reiterates its full solidarity with Saudi Arabia in all measures taken to safeguard its security, territorial integrity and facilities."

Oil prices rose after the attacks. Brent crude futures were at $70.79 a barrel at 1035 GMT.

LA Italian eatery Madeo delights the palate in Riyadh Season pop-up

Updated 15 December 2019

LA Italian eatery Madeo delights the palate in Riyadh Season pop-up

  • Despite minor setbacks he faced while setting up, Vietina considers the experience to be a positive one

RIYADH: Renowned Italian restaurant Madeo has opened up in Al-Murabba for Riyadh Season. 

The pop-up has started brightly, and head chef Gianni Vietina invited Arab News to sample the menu and chat about his experience.

Vietina, in Saudi Arabia for the first time, said that he loved the location he had set up in, and was very happy to be opening up in the Kingdom. 

“The location is gorgeous. At night, with all the lights on, the music going, it’s very nice.”

Despite minor setbacks he faced while setting up, Vietina considers the experience to be a positive one and that the response was even better than he had expected. 

“Like anything new, you have quests, you have problems. Up to now, we’re doing pretty good. We are up and running. We’re comfortable now, which is a shame as we’re leaving pretty soon,” he said.

He added that he would repeat the experience in a heartbeat if he could: “They were nice enough to ask me to stay in Saudi a little longer, but I can’t. I need to go back home. But I would love to come back.”

He said that while he was not planning to open up a permanent restaurant in Saudi Arabia, he would not rule it out completely.  “I’ve been offered options, and friends have offered to show me locations while I’m here, but I can’t do it right now, I just opened a new restaurant two months ago,” he said.

“I chose the dishes that I know that most of the Saudis that visit my restaurant in Los Angeles like.”

Gianni Vietina, Head chef of Madeo

The pop-up’s menu contains most of what the original restaurant offers, including his ever-popular penne madeo and spaghetti bolognese, with the chefs using a combination of imported and locally sourced ingredients. 

“I chose the dishes that I know that most of the Saudis that visit my restaurant in Los Angeles like,” he told Arab News.

For the pop-up, Vietina has stuck to using halal and alcohol-free ingredients. 

“It was challenging at the beginning. But the bolognese at Madeo doesn’t contain pork, and I realized after we tried cooking without wine that almost nothing changed. I actually prefer it,” he said.

Madeo is a favorite of Saudis visiting Los Angeles, with Vietina going so far as to describe the restaurant as a “Little Riyadh” on most evenings between July and September. 

He even recognizes some of the customers who have come into the Riyadh pop-up, and always stops over to greet them.

Upon sampling the menu, it’s easy to see why the food at Madeo has remained popular all these years. 

The eggplant parmigiana is a perfect blend of crusty cheese and silky smooth eggplant, with hints of basil and rosemary. 

The bolognese is rich, meaty and decadent, without being too heavy and greasy. And the penne madeo, which Vietina has been eating since his childhood, is a timeless classic of crushed tomato, basil, finished off with butter and Parmigiano Reggiano for a creamy, rich flavor.