SANAA (Reuters) – Saboteurs blew up Yemen’s main oil export pipeline on Wednesday, halting crude flows, the country’s defence ministry and an industry source said, in the latest attack on a key source of foreign currency.
Yemen’s oil and gas pipelines have been targeted repeatedly, often by tribesmen feuding with the central government, causing fuel shortages and slashing export earnings for the impoverished Arabian peninsula country.
The defence ministry’s news website www.26sept.net said Wednesday’s attack had occurred in the area of Habab in Marib province, halting flows to export facilities on the Red Sea. An industry source confirmed the stoppage in crude flows.
Yemen has said oil flows through the Marib pipeline, its main petroleum export route, at a rate of around 70,000 barrels per day (bpd). Before the spate of attacks began three years ago, the 270-mile (435-km) pipeline carried around 110,000 barrels per day to Ras Isa, the export terminal on the Red Sea.
Most of Yemen’s output is from the Marib-Jawf area in the north, with the rest coming from Masila in the southeast.