28 people died when a fire broke out in a gas pipeline near the Hawiyah gas plant in Saudi Arabia overnight, sources from Saudi Aramco said on Sunday. According to Reuters, the state oil and gas firm said in a statement the fire was caused by a gas leak in a pipeline around 30 km from the natural gas liquids plant.
The sources added the fire was unlikely to cause serious delays to the Hawiyah project, as it broke out some distance away in the Haradh-Othmaniya. "Twenty-eight people, including five employees of Aramco, died," a spokesperson for the company told AFP.
Aramco is carrying out projects to boost output at a natural gas liquids recovery plant in Hawiyah. The project will provide petrochemical feedstock to the industrial cities of Jubail and Yanbu in the kingdom.
The Hawiyah project will produce 310,000 barrels of ethane and NGL products by 2008, through the Hawiyah plant and an expansion of the Juaymah gas fractionation plant near Ras Tanura.