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UPDATE 1-Saudi oil pipeline briefly set alight after shots fired at patrol

DUBAI, Oct 18 (Reuters) - A "limited fire" broke out on a subsidiary oil pipeline in eastern Saudi Arabia on Saturday after assailants fired shots at a security patrol, the state news agency SPA said.

DUBAI Oct 18 (Reuters) - A "limited fire" broke out on a subsidiary oil pipeline in eastern Saudi Arabia on Saturday after assailants fired shots at a security patrol, the state news agency SPA said.

An industry source told Reuters there was no impact on oil operations in the world's top crude exporter.

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SPA, citing the spokesman for police in Eastern Province, said authorities were at the scene quickly and had put out the fire.

It said the incident happened at 2:00 a.m. local time on Saturday (2300 GMT Friday), when the patrol came under fire at the entrance of Awamiya in Qatif district.

Saturday's incident followed a similar one last month when a small fire broke out on a gas pipeline in the oil-rich Eastern Province.

Earlier this week, a Saudi judge sentenced to death prominent Shi'ite cleric Nimr al-Nimr who had called for greater rights for the kingdom's Shi'ites.

The sentencing was seen as possibly raising tensions in Qatif, which has historically been the focal point of anti-government demonstrations in support of Shi'ites, but where the frequency of protests has died down over the past year.

Hundreds of people in Qatif had staged a march in solidarity with Nimr, a local resident said shortly after the sentencing.

There have been no confirmed attempts by Shi'ite activists to target Saudi Arabia's energy facilities. State oil firm Saudi Aramco is a major employer of Shi'ites in both Qatif and the sect's other main population centre in Eastern Province, al-Ahsa. (Additional reporting by Rania El Gamal; Writing by Yara Bayoumy; Editing by Mark Potter)

Reuters
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Reuters
Published on:
October 18, 2014
Source url:
http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/USenergyNews/~3/JjNkla4D65o/story01.htm
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