PEPA discusses future of oil and gas production in Yemen and beyond

National Yemen

Nasser al-Humaidi

By NY Staff

The Petroleum Exploration Production Authority (PEPA) hosted workshops and seminars at this year’s annual two-day meeting 6-8 January. The presentations and events were divided into two sessions. The purpose of the seminars is to help those interested in investing in Yemen’s oil and gas industry.

In an exclusive interview with National Yemen, Chairman of PEPA Nasr Al-Humaidi revealed the latest technologies, investments, procedures and plans for Yemen’s oil and gas sector.

While Al-Humaidi is happy to share PEPA’s activities with the public, he insists that PEPA has a duty and obligation to carry out these responsibilities, because PEPA is a technical advisor to the Ministry of Oil and Gas.

“I have to describe our activities as they are, because we are the responsible authority regarding oil and gas production since we are the first to be contacted if any company would like to invest in Yemen,” Al-Humaidi said.

There are many new technologies on the field; two of the presentations focused exclusively on new technologies in the oil and gas sector.

In one presentation, researchers presented data, old and new, to tell the audience what the potential gas production for the country is.

These technologies are not cheap. PEPA funds these new technologies, but contributes more than just money into the research. PEPA employees are sent to conferences around the world and have established relationships with companies in the field, whether local or international.

“Also, we established good relationships with the researchers. When we contact all these researchers and engineers, they might end up thinking about issues in a new, innovative way,” said Al-Humaidi. “Most importantly, the relationship between government and investors should be good. We have to facilitate their work and deal with foreign embassies. We often have difficulties with customs, taxes and local authorities.”

A vital part of PEPA’s success revolves around their data bank, “a very sophisticated data bank and we are proud of that. It’s one of the best data banks in the Middle East,” Al-Humaidi said.

When they come across an issue, such as how to handle water or gas, or if they’re having drilling troubles, than the difficult issues from different locations are collected, summarized and solutions are offered.

PEPA’s next step?

“We are now thinking of a national oil company. It is very diplomatic and logical. I think we should establish it,” Al-Humaidi said.

A national oil company, according to Al-Humaidi, would benefit “everyone,” including the Ministry of Oil. It will help shore up Yemeni Gas Corporation as well, Al-Humaidi thinks.

“Now, it is easier when there are six bodies in the field. We can gather and collect all forces underneath one umbrella. This will lead us to develop a similar reputation to Saudi Arabia’s Aramco. The national company’s image and success is a priority.”

PEPA, experienced and knowledgeable after more than two decades of experience, is ready to start investing outside of Yemen.

“If we share five percent in a company, 10 percent there and another five percent in another company, we will make a lot of money which will cover customs and taxes,” Al-Humaidi said.

Investment in Yemen’s oil production has been slow. Mareb station has been out of production since 2011, he said. The pipeline is shut down for the entire year. Locals ask for a lot of money to allow PEPA to operate in the area, he says, though companies are not in the best financial condition.

Al-Humaidi would like to see more cooperation from governors and local authorities so that PEPA can get to the places it needs to. He believes everyone should come together to encourage investment, because it is a source of income for the country.

“It is actually the main source to feed these 25 million people,” he said. “We hope that the country, after the National Dialogue, will be secure politically and security-wise.”