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Analysis Of Recent Attack On Saudi Arabian Oil Facility


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I think the day of the drone is going to be short. Laser systems are maturing and have the added benefits of small target lead and no worries about falling shrapnel.

They need line of sight though and there are serious deconfliction issues with a weapon with essentially infinite range. What do you do vs a drone launched against an urban target from within the target area itself? Your laser is potentially going to be hitting all sorts of things you wouldn't want it to. I do believe they are potentially a huge game changer though - particularly where manned aircraft are concerned.

I doubt most of the smaller lasers will have infinite range, I suspect the beam diffuses as it's travels. Now that will be an interesting conversation

 

OK, not infinite, but significant. My understanding is that GBAD lasers are currently only tested against targets on ranges where you can ensure unoccupied terrain in the background.

 

Still with traditional AD you have to worry about falling debris as well, so tradeoff like everything.

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So the tall columns are distillation stacks. What are the spheroid tanks? Pressure vessels for the gaseous products for fueling the heating cycles?

Looks like even the burned pieces didn't burn everything else so badly. I'm sure any heat treating is fubar so whole segments will need to be replaced but all things considered looks like pretty light damage in those photos.

Edited by rmgill
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I think the day of the drone is going to be short. Laser systems are maturing and have the added benefits of small target lead and no worries about falling shrapnel.

 

They need line of sight though and there are serious deconfliction issues with a weapon with essentially infinite range. What do you do vs a drone launched against an urban target from within the target area itself? Your laser is potentially going to be hitting all sorts of things you wouldn't want it to. I do believe they are potentially a huge game changer though - particularly where manned aircraft are concerned.

 

I doubt most of the smaller lasers will have infinite range, I suspect the beam diffuses as it's travels. Now that will be an interesting conversation

 

 

Atmospheric moisture, dust, other particulates etc would attenuate the beam. After all, it is light, and as any photographer will tell you trying to take a a photo of a distant object with a high powered zoom lens will still have problems with atmospherics, particularly at low elevations. Taking a photo of the night sky is not as difficult because the layer of diffusion is not very thick, but horizontally it gets thicker. I am not saying that a laser would not be able to literally burn through the moisture / dust etc, but it would still attenuate the beam.

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So the tall columns are distillation stacks. What are the spheroid tanks? Pressure vessels for the gaseous products for fueling the heating cycles?

 

Tanks for separating H2S from a crude.

 

Damage is enough that probably good part of the tanks will need to be replaced, punctured hydrocarbon storage tanks are such a pain in the butt to repair that it is often more economical to make new one.

Edited by bojan
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Remarkable accuracy on the tall standing tanks.

 

They look like catalytic cracking towers.

 

 

That was my assumption also. I'm not familiar with the H2S separation process though; could anyone enlighten me? Is it a high pressure or low pressure operation?

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....

That was my assumption also. I'm not familiar with the H2S separation process though; could anyone enlighten me? Is it a high pressure or low pressure operation?

 

Moderate, IIRC tanks for that usually 1/2" so not that high.

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I'm guessing the various towers with different configurations are likely other than the distillation stack. Based on their configuration, I wonder if it's effectively a high and low side distillation stack (in part) with special bits in the middle for the catalyzing/cracking functions, instead of multiple fractions like with the conventional distillation stack.

Edited by rmgill
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I'm guessing the various towers with different configurations are likely other than the distillation stack. Based on their configuration, I wonder if it's effectively a high and low side distillation stack (in part) with special bits in the middle for the catalyzing/cracking functions, instead of multiple fractions like with the conventional distillation stack.

 

 

 

Large tanks hit are are before that and so are tall structures I suspect, which I think have to do something with settling process. Oil takes a lot of preparations before it can go in the destiling towers, since if you run H2S rich oil in the distillation column it is gonna ruin it ASAP, no matter the material (and material is usually cheapest stainless available).

 

Imo if they have deliberately chosen targets vs "something easy to hit" it is really a good selection if you want to disrupt but not kill production.

Edited by bojan
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Yes of course. I was just reading that there is an international clearing house for deconflicting high energy laser tests with the positions of satellites. I hadn't even considered that.

 

Good point

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https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-saudi-aramco-britain/uk-believes-iran-was-behind-saudi-oil-attacks-johnson-idUKKBN1W809N?feedType=RSS&feedName=topNews

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Britain believes Iran was responsible for an attack on Saudi oil facilities and will work with the United States and European allies on a joint response, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday.

The United States and Saudi Arabia have already blamed Iran for the Sept. 14 strikes that initially halved Saudi oil output. Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houti movement has claimed responsibility.

“The UK is attributing responsibility with a very high degree of probability to Iran for the Aramco attacks. We think it very likely indeed that Iran was indeed responsible,” Johnson told reporters on the plane to the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

“We will be working with our American friends and our European friends to construct a response that tries to deescalate tensions in the Gulf region.”

A UK government official said the Houti’s claim of responsibility was “implausible”, with the scale, sophistication and range of the attack inconsistent with their capabilities.

“It is implausible it wouldn’t have been authorised by the Iranian government,” the official said.

Asked whether Britain would rule out military action, Johnson said it would be closely watching a proposal by the United States to do more to help defend Saudi Arabia.

“Clearly if we are asked, either by the Saudis or by the Americans, to have a role then we will consider in what way we could be useful,” he said.

Johnson said he would be discussing Iran’s actions in the region with President Hassan Rouhani at the UN meeting, as well as pushing for the release of several dual national Iranians who he said were being held “illegally and unfairly”.

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Told that few pages ago :) If that part of the refinery was deliberately targeted it was chosen to inflict temporary choke but w/o large long term damage.

If you want long term damage you go for a distillation part, not crude purifying.

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Odd that our main stream media has not conveyed that point to us on the "nice" targeting decisions.

 

They are just clueless, media still thinks refinery is just a larger version of the moonshiner's still.

Edited by bojan
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Odd that our main stream media has not conveyed that point to us on the "nice" targeting decisions.

 

They are just clueless, media still thinks refinery is just a larger version of the moonshiner's still.

 

 

When you get thousands of pot stills together you have a refinery :D

 

 

Although in Germany at least how oil refinement is done is stuff for ninth or tenth form chemistry. But chenistry class in school sadly sucks most often. And journalists are among the first pupils deciding they do not need statistics, math in general or natural sciences. "too hard". resulting in the daily mangling of statistics and science in media.

Edited by Panzermann
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