Friday, February 24, 2006

The Weak Link: Oil Facilities in the Middle East

Saudi Arabian forces just thwarted a suicide car bombing at Abqaiq, an oil processing facility, which handles two- thirds of Saudi Arabia’s oil supply.

Not too surprising. In 2003, Institute for the Analysis of Global Security experts warned us:
“About two-thirds of Saudi Arabia's crude oil is processed in a single enormous facility called Abqaiq, 25 miles inland from the Gulf of Bahrain. On the Persian Gulf, Saudi Arabia has just two primary oil export terminals: Ras Tanura - the world's largest offshore oil loading facility, through which a tenth of global oil supply flows daily - and Ras al-Ju'aymah. On the Red Sea, a terminal called Yanbu is connected to Abqaiq via the 750-mile East–West pipeline. A terrorist attack on each one of these hubs of the Saudi oil complex or a simultaneous attack on few of them is not a fictional scenario. A single terrorist cell hijacking an airplane in Kuwait or Dubai and crashing it into Abqaiq or Ras Tanura, could turn the complex into an inferno. This could take up to 50% of Saudi oil off the market for at least six months and with it most of the world’s spare capacity, sending oil prices through the ceiling.”

"Such an attack would be more economically damaging than a dirty nuclear bomb set off in midtown Manhattan or across from the White House in Lafayette Square," wrote former CIA Middle East field officer Robert Baer. This "would be enough to bring the world's oil-addicted economies to their knees, America's along with them."

Read the very insightful article written on this topic in 2003: Terror's next target


At Sun Feb 26, 12:20:00 PM PST, Blogger Nightcrawler said...

This is another example of why the US should devolop and use its own oil reserves. The more oil on the market, the less important an attack on any particular facility becomes to the US.

At Mon Feb 27, 09:59:00 AM PST, Anonymous Ricky said...

Agree with nightcrawler on the need to have more refineries. But it should also be noted that the attack didn't even penetrate the first of three parimeters.


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