06:38 GMT +315 October 2019
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    Khaled al Otaiby, an official of the Saudi oil company Aramco watches progress at a rig at the al-Howta oil field.

    Saudi Aramco Allows Employees Enter One of Attacked Oil Facilities - Reports

    © AP Photo / JOHN MOORE
    Middle East
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Saudi Aramco, the national oil company of Saudi Arabia which has recently had two of its facilities hit by drones, has allowed employees to enter the Abqaiq facility for the first time since the attack, Al Arabiya reported citing its own sources.

    Abqaiq is one of the facilities that were hit in the attack and subsequently shut down. The employees have now been granted access, according to the broadcaster.

    On Saturday, the Abqaiq and Khurais compounds of Saudi Aramco were hit by drones and then caught a massive fire. The company had to shut them down, which resulted in more than a twofold drop of Saudi Arabia's net oil output and, consequently, a surge of oil prices worldwide. Although the responsibility was claimed by the military wing of Yemen's Ansar Allah movement, also known as the Houthis, the United States has put the blame on Iran. Tehran has refuted the accusation.

    A picture taken on September 15, 2019 shows the entrance of an Aramco oil facility near al-Khurj area, just south of the Saudi capital Riyadh
    © AFP 2019 / FAYEZ NURELDINE
    A picture taken on September 15, 2019 shows the entrance of an Aramco oil facility near al-Khurj area, just south of the Saudi capital Riyadh

    Earlier in the day, Saudi authorities said they would invite international experts and UN specialists to join the investigation into the incident.

    It is yet unclear when normal operations will be restored, but Saudi Aramco reportedly pledged to restore a third of oil production lost due to drone attacks by Monday.

    Tags:
    oil production, Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabia
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