It’s astonishing to hear the news that the world’s largest crude oil processing plant had to cut down the production to half when a day before the attack, it was producing 10 million barrels a day supplying to so many countries.
The biggest attack after the first gulf war. “Abqaiq is the heart of the system and they just had a heart attack,” said Roger Diwan, a veteran OPEC watcher at consultant IHS Markit. “We just don’t know the severity.” Still trying to figure out what actually happened
UAE condemns the attack on two sites
The cause of the fire is unknown. There was no official confirmation of the Arabiya report, which gave no details but said Saudi authorities would later issue a statement. Aramco did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Abqaiq, about 60 km (37 miles) southwest of Dhahran in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province, contains the world’s largest oil processing plant. Most Saudi oil exported from the Gulf is processed there.
Saudi Arabia’s oil production was cut by half after a swarm of explosive drones struck at the heart of the kingdom’s oil industry and set the world’s biggest crude-processing plant ablaze. Saudi Aramco has had to cut production by as much as 5 million barrels a day after the attack on the Abqaiq plant, according to a person familiar with the matter. The company expects to restart most of the oil operations “within days,” a person familiar said. Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen, who have launched several drone attacks on Saudi targets, claimed responsibility.
Today, it is a democracy that finds itself battered and weakened. A quarter-century ago, at the end of the Cold War, it appeared that totalitarianism had at last been vanquished and liberal democracy had won the great ideological battle of the 20th century.
The Freedom in the World 2018 index by the US government-funded non-governmental organization (NGO) Freedom House has found that in its own words:
Democracy is in crisis. The values it embodies—particularly the right to choose leaders in free and fair elections, freedom of the press, and the rule of law— are under assault and in retreat globally.
For the 12th consecutive year, countries that experienced democratic setback outnumbered those that registered gains. The report stated that 88 countries were classed as “free”, while 49 were classed as “not free”.
The report also criticised some nations for becoming increasingly authoritarian:
The retreat of democracies is troubling enough. Yet at the same time, the world’s leading autocracies, China and Russia, have seized the opportunity not only to step up internal repression but also to export their malign influence to other countries, which are increasingly copying their behavior and adopting their disdain for democracy.
A confident Chinese president Xi Jinping recently proclaimed that China is ‘blazing a new trail’ for developing countries to follow. It is a path that includes politicized courts, intolerance for dissent, and predetermined elections
The Gambia’s status improved from Not Free to Partly Free, its political rights rating improved from 6 to 4, and its civil liberties rating improved from 6 to 5 due to the installation of newly elected president Adama Barrow into office in January and the holding of competitive legislative elections in April. Among other openings associated with the departure of former president Yahya Jammeh, exiled journalists and activists returned, political prisoners, were released, ministers declared their assets to an ombudsman, and the press union began work on media-sector reform.
The Freedom in the World report evaluates the state of freedom in 195 countries and 14 territories, assigning a score between 0 and 4 in a series of 25 indicators to give a final score of 100.
The methodology is derived from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, regardless of geopolitical, geographic, ethnic or religious considerations.