Bahrain reopens oil pipeline after 'terrorist act'

Saudi oil giant Aramco resumes operations after shutdown forced by fire
(Photo for illustrative purposes only)
By AFP
Mon 13 Nov 2017 06:10 PM

Saudi oil giant Aramco on Monday said it had resumed operations at its Bahrain pipeline, days after it was shut down over a fire which Manama called a "terrorist" act.

"Operations in the pipeline between the Dhahran pumping station and the Bapco refinery, in the Kingdom of Bahrain, have resumed," the official Saudi SPA news agency quoted the oil giant as saying.

Saudi Aramco linked the fire to "vandalism".

Bahrain blamed a "terrorist" act for Saturday's fire near the capital Manama, and Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed al-Khalifa accused Iran of responsibility.

A spokesman for the Iranian foreign ministry rejected the accusation.

Bahrain, a Shiite-majority kingdom ruled by a Sunni dynasty, has seen sporadic violence since the repression in 2011 of a protest movement demanding a constitutional monarchy and an elected prime minister.

Authorities have increasingly tightened their grip on dissent, jailing hundreds of protesters and stripping a string of high-profile activists and clerics of citizenship.

The government denies it discriminates against Shiites and accuses neighbouring Iran, the predominant Shiite power and main rival of regional powerbroker Saudi Arabia, of stirring up tensions.

Tehran refutes the accusation.

Bahrain relies on its Abu Safa field, which it shares with neighbouring Saudi Arabia, for much of its oil, pumped in via a 230,000-barrel-per-day pipeline.

The kingdom is a key ally of the United States and home to Washington's Fifth Fleet.

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