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Yemen’s Saudi-backed government has plans to export crude oil at a rate of 75,000 bpd this year, according to oil minister Aws Abdullah al-Awd, who spoke to Reuters.
“We will maintain production from four blocks and are planning to build a pipeline to Arab Sea (Arabian Sea) to resume exports from these blocks,” Al-Awd said. The plans also involve raising crude oil production to 110,000 bpd this year. The Saudi-backed government controls Yemen’s oil and gas fields, while the Houthi rebels supported by Iran holds the country’s capital, Sanaa, and an oil terminal on Yemen’s west coast.
The war-torn country that is also suffering a dizzying humanitarian crisis in recent world history as a result of the war between the Houthis and the Saudi-led regional coalition last year produced only 50,000 bpd of crude oil even though its reserves stand at around 2 billion barrels, according to data from the Energy Information Administration.
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Exports last year were meager, restarting only in August with a 500,000-barrel cargo from a field in the southern Shabwa province bound for a Chinese company. This was the first outbound shipment of crude oil from Yemen since 2015 when the civil war broke out and quickly escalated into an international conflict. It was offered in an open tender, in which 35 companies from around the world took part, the Yemeni ministry of oil and minerals said in a statement. Before the war, however, Yemen produced around 127,000 bpd, as of 2014.
Crude oil production and exports are not the only items on the government’s energy agenda. According to Al-Awd, Yemen will also boost its liquefied natural gas production this year. The target is 6.7 million tons of the fuel, with half of that to be bound for exports. A year later, the minister said, “We hope to export all of our LNG production, mainly to customers in Asia.”
The Yemen LNG project, worth US$4.5 billion, began operating in 2005 with a capacity of 6.7 million tons of gas annually. The project draws the gas from the Marib field, which has proven reserves of 9.15 trillion cu ft of natural gas. Total, Kogas, and SK Innovation are among the shareholders of Yemen LNG.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.