RealNews

Fear Enters the Pipeline of Saudi Oil Industry

In the desert washes where Americans first found this kingdom’s black gold, Saudis scrambled this week to harden their defenses. New security checkpoints cropped up at the edge of the vast tangles of steel in the oil fields. Makeshift sniper nests appeared around town. A Saudi magnate logged on to an Israeli settler website for a few tips on home fortification. Last weekend’s carnage by suspected Islamic militants in the nearby petrochemical hub of Khobar drove the price of oil to a new high and laid bare an uncomfortable truth: The world oil market depends heavily on a calm that seems to be vanishing in this volatile desert kingdom. Many people here believe that after years of threats, a struggle aimed at wrecking Saudi Arabia’s storied oil industry has begun. The nature of the violence has morphed; suicide bombings at housing compounds in Riyadh gave way to two major shooting rampages at oil companies last month. Workers are no longer rattled or nervous — they are scared. Full Story

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