Anti-government protests back in 2011 created a power vacuum in Yemen which has enabled armed groups to take advantage of. Since then the impoverished nation’s oil and gas pipelines have been constantly attacked by Islamist militants and angry tribesmen, leading to fuel shortages around the country, and slashing earnings from oil and gas exports.
Attacks last year caused a long closure of the main Maarib oil pipeline, which transports 110,000 barrels of light crude each day to the Ras Isa export terminal in the Red Sea. This closure in turn required the country’s largest refinery at Aden to shut down, leaving Yemen dependent on fuel donations from Saudi Arabia to keep the economy running.
The latest attack on the Maarib pipeline occurred last Tuesday, and although the flow of crude through the pipe had to be halted, exports were not affected due to the oil held in storage to insure constant supply when such attacks take place.
Repairs started being made as soon as Thursday and Minister Hisham Sharaf told Reuters that “resumption of pumping oil is expected within days.”
He added that “security forces are chasing those involved in Tuesday night's bombing.”
By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com