Friday 25 July 2014

Yemeni oil pipeline re-opens.

A pipeline carrying Marib Light Crude from the  Safer Oilfield to the port of Ras Isa on the Red Sea reopened on Thursday 24 July 2014, forty two days after it was blown up by unknown insurgents near the town of Sirwah in Ma'rib Province Yemen on 12 June. Engineers working on repairs to the pipeline have had to work under constant protection from military personal, due to constant attacks by a variety of groups in the area, in which five government soldiers and two attackers (described by government sources as 'tribesmen') were killed. When operating the pipeline carries 70 000-110 000 barrels of oil per day, however attacks on this (and other pipelines in Yemen) are becoming increasingly frequent, and the pipeline had only reopened in late May after a previous attack.

The approximate location of the 12 June 2014 Ma'rib Province pipeline explosion. Google Maps.

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. Many of these groups share a common objection to the oil industry, which is largely perceived as beneficial to the country's government and those close to it, as well as to western nations widely seen as exploitative of local resources. 45.2% of Yemen's population is currently considered to be living below the poverty line.

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.

See also...

 South Sudan denies involvement in Abyei pipeline explosion.

A pipeline carrying oil from the Diffra Oil Field to the Red Sea was blown up at Abyei, on the border between South Sudan and the...
 Pregnant woman killed in rioting over Tanzania gas pipeline.

A pregnant woman was reportedly shot and killed by security forces during rioting in the southern Tanzanian city of Mtwara on...

 Yemeni oil pipeline blown up by unknown bombers.

A section of Yemen's main oil pipeline, carrying crude from the...

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