Saudi Arabia cuts flow of diesel to Yemen

National Yemen

Protester calls for justice

SANA’A: Yemen’s oil ministry announced that since the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia had refused to extend its diesel grant to Yemen, its office had opened a tender for 270,000 tons of diesel for March.

Since the Aden refinery is still shut, following the severe disruption on the state’s oil industry’s infrastructures, Sana’a is now being forced to import all its fuel, putting its finances under further strain.

Hisham Sharaf, Yemen’s Oil Minister, revealed that the country was consuming on average 260,000 tons of oil per month. He explained that although Yemen was producing oil and gas, the government’s need for foreign currency forced it to sell its production to later buy back what it needed for its own personal consumption.

Yemen, which over the past year has suffered a series of attacks on its pipelines, reducing its capacity to produce and therefore its ability to generate an income, has had since last week to deal with an oil workers’ strike, forcing several oil companies to halt their production.

Petro-Masila’s workers who accused the government of not honoring the terms of the agreement, which organized the transfer of Nexen’s operations and staff to Petro-Masila, the newly formed national Oil Company, called for a general strike, severely impending other blocks’ abilities to continue their activities.

“When the agreement was signed, the government promised to honor our severance pays as well as other bonuses. The ministry has yet to deliver on those promises. Since the only way to make ourselves heard is to disrupt the production this is what we will do,” said an engineer.

Sources within the Oil Ministry told that after lengthy negotiations, it had reached an agreement with the workers, promising that all activities would return to normal soon.