September 26, 2019 / 8:57 AM / 21 days ago

Satellite images show activity pick-up at Saudi Aramco's Abqaiq site

FILE PHOTO: Workers are seen at the damaged site of Saudi Aramco oil facility in Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia, September 20, 2019. REUTERS/Hamad l Mohammed/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - Satellite imagery of Saudi Arabia’s Abqaiq oil processing plant, which was damaged in an attack on Sept. 14, show signs of a return to thermal activity, data analytics firm Kayrros said on Thursday.

Kayrros also said that flaring - the burning of gas from oilfields - was at “usual minimal levels” at Ghawar, Khurais and Abqaiq.

The low flaring levels are in line with the resumption of gas compression activities at the Abqaiq plant, highlighting Saudi Aramco attempts to restore production levels, Kayrros said.

Sources told Reuters on Wednesday that Saudi Arabia has restored oil production capacity to 11.3 million barrels per day, maintaining a faster than expected recovery after the Sept. 14 attacks on its facilities.

“Of the five NGL (natural gas liquids) compression units identified by Kayrros, three units show signs of thermal activity, hinting NGL compression is resuming,” Kayrros said.

The images taken on Wednesday also show thermal activity at another unit, which could be an amine sweetening unit, Kayrros added.

Reporting by Shadia Nasralla; Editing by David Goodman

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