Yemen resumes oil shipments, the first since start of civil war

Written by NY Staff

The National — Crude oil shipments from Yemen have resumed on a small scale after stalling since early last year because of the continuing civil war.

“With the resumption of production and exports from Mas­ila oil field, the national economy is back on its own two feet,” Saif Al Sharif, the oil and mining minister, told the state-run news agency Sabanew on Thursday.

Yemen port authorities said late last month that they would reopen the crude terminal at Ash Shihr, about 800 kilometres east of Aden, where oil from the fields run by PetroMasila and most other Yemen fields is lifted.

PetroMasila has been oper­ated entirely by indigenous staff since the end of last year following the exit of the Canadian oil company Nexen, which had been its operator. Most foreign oil companies have quit Yemen because of the war, as well as declining oil production from its relatively small fields.

The oil tanker Seaprince lifted a 1 million-barrel cargo of Mas­ila crude oil on August 2 and a 3 million-barrel cargo is due to be lifted by the oil tanker Ataka, according to shipping sources. Both ships are owned by the tanker division of commodity trader Glencore and are bound for China and Singapore, respectively.

Abdrabu Mansur Hadi, the president, has instructed that 1 million barrels of crude be exported to the refinery at Aden, Sabanew reported. He said he hopes production from Marib and Shabwa will resume soon, as well as oil and gas exports from Ras Isa and Balhaf ports, the agency reported.

The situation in Yemen has improved since spring, when forces loyal to Mr Hadi, toge­ther with those from the UAE regained control of the largest oil-exporting port from Al Qaeda insurgents and took the town of Al Makulla, which lies 70km to the east of Ash Shihr.