Maldives condemns drone attacks on Saudi oil facilities

Maldives government on Sunday strongly condemned the drone attacks against Saudi Arabia’s Aramco oil facilities in Abqaiq and Hijra Khurais.

The island nation's foreign ministry in a statement said such attacks against critical infrastructure were a dangerous escalation that will destabilize Saudi Arabia’s security and stability, increase tensions in the region, and endanger civilian lives.

"Such deplorable acts of terrorism have a negative impact on the efforts by the parties concerned and the international community to find peaceful solutions to conflicts in the region," the statement said reassuring the Saudi government of Maldives' commitment to the fight against terrorism.

Iran-allied Houthi rebels in neighboring Yemen claimed credit for the attack, saying they sent 10 drones to strike at important facilities in Saudi Arabia’s oil-rich Eastern Province.

The strikes shut down half of the kingdom’s crude production on Saturday, potentially roiling petroleum prices and demonstrating the power of Iran’s proxies.

The production shutdown amounts to a loss of about 5.7 million barrels a day, the kingdom’s national oil company said, roughly five percent of the world’s daily production of crude oil.

Officials said they hoped to restore production to its regular level of 9.8 million barrels a day by Monday. Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said lost production would be offset through supplies of oil already on hand.

The strikes mark the latest in a series of attacks on the country’s petroleum assets in recent months, as tensions rise among Iran and its proxies like the Houthis, and the US and partners like Saudi Arabia. The attacks could drive up oil prices if the Saudis fail to turn production back on quickly and potentially rattle investor confidence in an initial public offering of Saudi Aramco, the national oil company.