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Saudi controls fire at Aramco facility in Abqaiq: Al Arabiya TV

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Saudi controls fire at Aramco facility in Abqaiq: Al Arabiya TV

RIYADH (Reuters) – A fire that broke out before dawn at a Saudi Aramco facility in the eastern city of Abqaiq has been brought under control, Saudi-owned Al Arabiya TV reported on Saturday, citing its own correspondent.

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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

Tensions are running high in the region after attacks in June and July on oil tankers in Gulf waters that Riyadh and Washington blamed on Iran. Tehran denies the accusations

Iran-aligned Houthi fighters in Yemen have also launched attacks over the border, hitting Shaybah oilfield with drones last month and two oil pumping stations in May. Both attacks caused fires but did not disrupt production

Security forces foiled an al Qaeda attack on Abqaiq in 2006

Saudi royal court adviser Turki Alalshikh on Saturday condemned what he said were lies and rumours on social media where unverified videos appeared to show footage of the fires

“Praise to God, safe and secure… Abqaiq is well,” he tweeted

Aramco is preparing to float shares as early as this year as part of efforts to diversify the economy of the world’s top oil exporter away from crude. It has hired nine banks as joint global coordinators to lead the IPO and has been meeting bankers this week in Dubai as it speeds up the listing plans

Reporting by Ahmed Tolba in Cairo, Rania El Gamal in Dubai and Stephen Kalin in Riyadh; Editing by Richard Borsuk