Gunmen blow up Yemen's main oil pipeline, halt flow

Gunmen blow up Yemen's main oil pipeline, halt flow
Sat Feb 1, 2014 17:57:46

Tribesmen in Yemen's province of Maarib blew up its main oil pipeline, halting crude flow to the country's main export terminal, oil and local officials said.

The attack, which occurred in the Serwah district in the central oil-producing province of Maarib, came just less than a month after the oil pipeline was repaired.

The blast caused a huge fire that prompted the closure of the pipeline and halted oil flow from the Maarib fields to the Ras Isa oil terminal on the Red Sea.

Yemen, which relies on crude exports to finance up to 70 percent of its budget, has suffered frequent bombings of its main pipeline in recent years. The last one took place on Dec. 26 and the pipeline was repaired on Jan. 5.

Disgruntled tribesmen stage these attacks to pressure the government to provide jobs, settle land disputes or free relatives from prison.

Before a spate of attacks that began in 2011, the 270-mile Maarib pipeline carried around 110,000 barrels per day to Ras Isa.


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