Local News

Shabwa and Hadramout Suspened Oil Operations Unless Bin Mubarak Freed

National Yemen

Drilling oil rig at oil company site

The governor of Yemen’s Shabwa province along with Tribes in Hadramout  turns off the oil and gas taps starting from Sunday midnight unless Shiite militiamen in control of the capital free a presidency official.

President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi’s chief of staff Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak, who was kidnapped on Saturday by the Shiite Huthi militias who control Sanaa, is from the southern province of Shabwa in deeply-tribal Yemen.

“Oil companies in Shabwa will stop production starting midnight if Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak is not released,” said the governor, Ahmed Ali Belhaj.

Yemen’s only gas terminal of Belhaf, which is located in Shabwa, would also stop operating, he said.

An industry official confirmed to Agence France-Presse that Shabwa’s oil companies had received orders to halt their operations.

Shabwa has three oilfields and produces about 50,000 barrels per day.

Political sources in Sanaa said Mubarak’s kidnap was a bid to press for amendments to Yemen’s newly drafted constitution.

It came just before a meeting of the national dialogue secretariat, headed by Mubarak, to present a draft charter that sets out the division of Yemen into a six-region federation, which the Huthis oppose.

Political sources said representatives of the Huthis and former strongman Ali Abdullah Saleh’s General People’s Congress party walked out of a meeting on the process headed by President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi on Saturday.