Al Mukalla: Yemen’s prime minister has said his government has begun spending millions of dollars on renovating oilfields in the province of Hadramout to bring back production to normal and boost dwindling financial sources.
At a meeting with senior government officials in the port city of Al Mukalla, Hadramout’s capital, Ahmad Bin Daghar, said his government has allocated $30 million (Dh110 million) for revamping major oilfields in Hadramout and the province would have a cut from oil revenues.
“We are seeking to produce 70,000 barrels from the fields,” Bin Daghar said on Sunday.
Oilfields in Yemen have been abandoned during the recent circle of violence ensued from Al Houthis capture of the capital in September 2014.
In Hadramout, army soldiers responsible for protecting oilfields abandoned their positions shortly after Al Qaida occupied the city of Al Mukalla in April last year.
For fear of pillage from fleeing soldiers or other people, officials drummed up help from armed tribal alliance in Hadramout to protect the fields.
Major machines remained largely untouched and officials say production would return in full capacity when the repair process comes to an end.
Elite forces were deployed in the fields and the pipeline that transports oil from field to Dabah on the Arabian Sea.
Bin Daghar said that the country would not be able to resume production from other fields under government’s control in Shabwa and Marib until Ras Eisa terminal in Hodeida is liberated from Iran-backed Al Houthis.
“We would use part of oil revenues to pay government salaries,”
The prime minister said the country sold three million barrels of oil stored at Dabah oil terminal for $127 million and almost $55 million would go to repairing oilfields and funding vital projects in Hadramout like building a new 31 Megawatt power plant.
Bin Daghar also said that his government has ordered the printing of billions of Yemeni rials in order to pay salaries of thousands of public servants.
Al Houthis, who control the government, have cut off salaries of government employees since Hadi took the decision of shifting the location of the central bank headquarters to Aden.
Bin Daghar said that the central bank was moved to Aden after Al Houthis plundered billions of reserves in foreign currencies and spent them on their military effort.
Angry protesters have turned to the streets across Yemen demanding salaries.
“There are some soldiers who have not been paid for nine months. We have an obligation to pay them,” Bin Daghar said.