Saboteurs blow up Yemen oil export pipeline

SANAA -- Saboteurs blew up a main oil pipeline in Yemen carrying crude to the Red Sea coast, halting its flow, an industry official and tribal sources said.

The attackers targeted the pipeline at the 107 Kilo spot, in Sarwah district of the Marib province, east of Sanaa, a tribal source said. The industry official said the flow of oil stopped due to the explosion.

The same pipeline was attacked before, but the damage did not cause interruption, another tribal source said.

The 435 km pipeline links the Safir oil fields, in the Marib basin, with Ras Isa export terminal, near Hodeida.

In December, the army launched an offensive against tribesmen suspected of being behind the attacks in Marib, sparking clashes that left 17 people dead.

Impoverished Yemen produced an average of 170,000 bpd in 2011, down from an estimated 259,000 bpd in 2010, due to strikes, attacks on pipelines, and the evacuation of foreign staff, according to the Energy Information Administration.

The country's production dropped from 440,000 bpd in 2001, due to a lack of sufficient new investment in exploration and inadequate maintenance of facilities, according to the EIA.

Yemen exported 103,000 bpd in 2010, the EIA said.

According to official figures, lost production due to pipeline attacks cost the government more than $1 billion in 2012.

Dow Jones Newswires

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