Friday 24 May 2013

Yemeni oil pipeline blown up by unknown bombers.

A section of Yemen's main oil pipeline, carrying crude from the Safer Oil Field to the Port of Hodeida, on the Red Sea, was blown up in the the Sarwaj District of Marib Province early in the morning of Friday 24 May 2013, halting the flow of oil from the country. It is unclear who was responsible for the act; Yemen has a number of groups involved in different levels of conflict with the central government and one-another, including Al Qaeda-lined Sunni extremists, Shia groups, tribal factions demanding greater autonomy and militants loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, who was ousted in 2012.

Marib Province, Yemen. Google Maps.

Hydrocarbons account for about 70% of Yemen's national income and 90% of exports, but the industry has been a frequent victim of the county's ongoing instability, as pipelines and facilities are an obvious target to anyone trying to gain concessions from the central government. This has led to a weakening economy and fuel shortages in the country, which has provoked further instability. The Yemeni government has responded to these attacks with increasing violence, which seems to be worsening the situation.

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