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Oil refinery halts production in Yemen

07 December 2011

An oil refinery in Yemen has had to stop operations due to a lack of crude oil supplies, it has been revealed.

Image courtesy of Alarabiya
Image courtesy of Alarabiya

Yemen’s Aden oil refinery stopped production last month after crude supplies ran out due to an attack on a supply pipeline, a company official said.

Fuel shortages are likely as a result of the end to production. They had previously cut daily production from 150,000 barrels to just 40,000 barrels as a result, according to Reuters.

The company official said the refinery had been trying to cope with crude shortages since the oil pipeline from Marib fields east of the capital Sana’a in central Yemen to the Red Sea port of Ras Isa was blown up by assailants about a month ago. 

“But we had to stop today after supplies ran out,” the official, who declined to be named.

The pipeline feeds an export terminal at Ras Isa, where some of the crude is also shipped to Aden for refining, company officials said.

Yemen has been paralyzed by 10 months of popular protests demanding that President Ali Abdullah Saleh steps down after 33 years in office. The protests have weakened state control on the country, resulting in increased attacks on public installations, including energy pipelines.

The refinery official said the company was conducting negotiations with companies outside Yemen to secure alternative supplies.

Angry tribesmen blew up the pipeline in mid-March this year and prevented repair work, causing severe fuel shortages. The refinery went back to production in July after Saudi Arabia donated three million barrels of oil to Yemen.

The pipeline has since been repaired, but tribesmen have repeatedly attacked it since then. 

Image courtesy of Al Arabiya

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