Saudis move to reassure foreign oil firms

Monday, May 31, 2004

ABU DHABI Saudi Arabia has moved to assuage foreign energy firms that the kingdom can protect them from Al Qaida attack.

Saudi Oil Minister Prince Ali Al Naimi met senior Western executives at Aramco headquarters in Dhahran in the aftermath of an Al Qaida attack in nearby Khobar on Sunday. Khobar houses many of the foreign executives who operate in Saudi Arabia's oil sector.

"No Saudi Aramco facilities or personnel were affected by the incidents and normal operations continue at all of the company's installations," Saudi Aramco, a state-owned company, said. "The company is committed to carrying out the Saudi Arabian government's policy of providing a reliable supply of oil to meet world energy demand."

In a statement, Aramco said its priority would be to "ensure the security of its employees, dependants, facilities and communities, by working closely with Saudi government authorities." The company said it has employed more than 5,000 guards to protect Aramco facilities.

Copyright 2004 East West Services, Inc.

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