By Fakhri al-Arashi
The first national oil company, Safer Exploration Production and Operations Company (SEPOC), regrets for the unjustified hold of the company’s oil operational budget. The General Manager of SEPOC, Ahmed M. Kulaib, criticized the careless culture of Finance Minister Sakhar al-Wajeeh who repeatedly refused to release the company’s operational budget throughout the past eight months.
On November 15, 2005 Safer assumed all upstream oil and gas operations in Yemen’s premier Mareb – Aljawf Block 18 as the sole designated operator of this entire area. Kulaib said the oil industry business is very critical and it requires a quick response and cash flow to maintain its regular production. A third of government revenue comes from SEPOC, and there is no reason for the government to maintain wrongful policies in such critical circumstances that may lead to temporary suspension in Block 18.
Kulaib found the Labor Day ceremony an opportunity to pass his message to the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Defense, and Interior Ministry to take the full responsibility to protect the company’s assets. “SEPOC faces many challenges beginning with continued sabotage of oil pipelines that happens to demolish government infrastructure” said Kulaib. Safer maintains the lowest operational budget compared to the former operator and other national and international oil companies doing business in the same oil fields.
Kulaib continued to say that SEPOC is the source of liquefied natural gas in Yemen, the only supplier for domestic gas (cooking gas), the only supplier for gas to the power station in Marib, and 100% of it is income goes back the government treasury and it still faces a hard time getting its operational budget back from the ministry of finance. “For whose benefit is this?” said the GM.
Deputy Minister of Oil and Minerals Shawki al-Makhlaifi said there is no excuse for the Finance Minister to hold Safer’s budget. We call up on the president, prime minister and the Ministry of Finance to treat Safer differently and free its operational budget. “The government economy lost over 5 billion USD as a result of the ongoing attacks to the oil pipeline” said al-Makhalfi. The media should play its role to help Safer to obtain its financial rights as a national company and as a successful operator.
Safer celebrated the Labor Day ceremony last week at the Monvenpick hotel, honoring more than fifty of its staff. The Labor Day ceremony is a common activity to recognize hardworking employees.