February 24, 2006

Saudi says foils suicide car attacks on oil facility

RIYADH (Reuters) - Suicide bombers tried to storm an oil
facility in Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province on Friday, a
security source said.

"Security forces foiled an attempted suicide attack at the
Abqaiq refinery using at least two cars," the official said.

Al Arabiya television said Saudi forces killed the

Authorities have brought under control a fire at a pipeline
following a blast at the oil facility, Al Arabiya television

The Saudi-owned channel quoted security sources as saying
only one unit at the oil facility, which includes processing
and pumping stations that send oil to major Saudi export
terminals, had been damaged but did not say which one. Saudi
oil officials were not immediately available for comment.

Oil prices shot up and shares eased on the Saudi news.

U.S. Treasury yields eased on the reports, while the Swiss
franc, a traditional refuge in times of geopolitical turmoil,
edged up against the dollar and euro. Gold prices were up more
than $3 at around $553 an ounce.

U.S. crude climbed $1.70 to $62.24 a barrel.

"That's going to dominate the market today until we get
more information," said Barry Hyman, equity market strategist
at Ehrenkrantz, King, Nussbaum. "A potential story like this
from an OPEC producer brings up the worry that oil can spike to
new highs very easily. We see the reaction in equities when oil
goes higher. It stops equities in their tracks."

S&P 500 futures were down 0.8 point, below fair value, a
mathematical formula that evaluates pricing by taking into
account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the

Dow Jones industrial average futures fell 26 points, and
Nasdaq 100 futures fell 0.50 point.