HOUSTON: Saudi Arabia’s oil production and exports have been disrupted by drone attacks on two major oil facilities run by state-owned company Aramco, including the world’s biggest petroleum processing facility.
Two sources close to the matter said 5 million barrels per day of crude production had been impacted — close to half of the kingdom’s output or 5% of global oil supply.
The pre-dawn drone attack by Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi group set off several fires, although the kingdom, the world’s largest oil exporter, later said these were brought under control.
State television said exports were continuing, however Aramco has yet to comment since the assault. The authorities have not said whether oil production or exports were affected.
Here are key facts about the historically secretive oil company, including details released this year of its finances and operations.
Aramco, the world’s biggest oil company, had in 2017 liquids reserves of 260.2 billion barrels of oil equivalent, which are larger than the combined reserves of Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N), Chevron Corp (CVX.N), Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSa.L), BP Plc (BP.L) and Total SA (TOTF.PA), and which have an estimated reserve life of 54 years.
The company produced 10.3 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude last year, touting the lowest cost in the world to produce crude, at $2.8 a barrel, according company documents. It also produced 1.1 million barrels of natural gas liquids and 8.9 billion standard cubic feet per day of natural gas.
Almost three-quarters of Aramco’s crude exports, about 5.2 million bpd, were delivered to customers in Asia last year, where it believes demand will grow faster than elsewhere in the world. Its Asian buyers include China, India, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan. Its crude deliveries to North America reached more than 1 million bpd last year; to Europe, 864,000 bpd.
The company produces, refines and exports oil from Saudi Arabia, but has refining operations across the globe. Aramco’s U.S. oil refining subsidiary Motiva Enterprises owns the 607,000 barrel-per-day Port Arthur, Texas, refinery, the largest in the United States and in 2017 announced plans for $18 billion in investments in its operations in the Americas over five years.
Aramco is also expanding its oil refining and downstream capacity in the region, particularly in rapidly growing countries such as China and India. Aramco in 2018 had a net refining capacity of 3.1 million barrels per day.
With 76,000 employees in 2018, Aramco has energy industry operations, research facilities and offices scattered across the globe, in Asia, Europe and the Americas. It has country offices in Beijing, New Delhi, Singapore, New York, London, Houston and elsewhere.