Last updated: 5 September, 2012

Yemen explosion hits gas well

An explosion targeted a gas well in the Marib province of Yemen, an engineer at the site told AFP, stressing that a pipeline feeding gas into Balhaf southern export terminal was not hit, as a local official had announced earlier.

“An explosion hit the gas well number 26 in the area of Raydan,” the engineer said Tuesday, adding that more explosive devices were defused after they were found planted at two other wells in the same field.

A local official told AFP earlier that a bomb planted underneath Yemen’s only gas pipeline had exploded. He later said that his information about the location of the explosion was not accurate.

Yemen LNG Company denied in a statement on its website that the pipeline had been sabotaged, adding that all upstream activities and the pipeline remain in service.

“LNG production is running on the two trains at the Balhaf LNG plant and all the upstream facilities and the pipeline are in service at nominal capacity,” it said.

Yemen LNG said on Saturday that the pipeline had been repaired after a bomb put it out of service in August.

Suspected Al-Qaeda militants had blown up the pipeline last month in the southern Shabwa province.

France’s Total has an almost 40 percent interest in the Balhaf plant.

The 320-kilometre (200-mile) pipeline linking Marib province to Balhaf, in Yemen’s mostly lawless south, has been repeatedly sabotaged by Al-Qaeda militants.

On May 13, the pipeline was blown up near Mayfaa, also in Shabwa, nearly three weeks after it was sabotaged on April 26, shortly after it was repaired following a similar March attack.

Yemen began exporting liquefied natural gas from Balhaf in 2009.

In May, a French security official working for Total was wounded and a Yemeni soldier killed when gunmen attacked their car in Sayun in the eastern province of Hadramawt.