Smoke is seen following a fire at the Aramco facility in the eastern city of Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia [Reuters]

The latest drone attacks on Saudi Aramco oil facilities come as Saudi Arabia, the world’s top crude exporter, steps up preparations to sell shares of the state-owned energy giant.

Attacks claimed by Yemen‘s Houthi rebels sparked fires at the Abqaiq and Khurais sites on Saturday, which have since been controlled, the Saudi state news agency reported.

Aramco describes its Abqaiq oil processing facility, in the kingdom’s Eastern Province, as “the largest crude oil stabilisation plant in the world”.

Estimates suggest it can process up to seven million barrels of crude oil a day.

The Khurais complex, further southwest, has estimated reserves of more than 20bn

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