Last updated: 6 March, 2013

Saboteurs blow up Yemeni oil pipeline

Saboteurs during the night blew up an oil pipeline that runs from Yemen’s eastern Marib province to its west coast, the defence ministry announced.

“Subversive elements blew up the pipeline at kilometre 93 (mile 58) in the Sarwah region” between Sanaa and Marib, said a statement on the ministry’s news website

The attack caused “a large fire” in the pipeline, it said, without mentioning whether crude exports had been interrupted.

Attacks on oil and gas pipelines by Al-Qaeda or by tribesmen seeking to win concessions from the central government are common in Yemen, an impoverished country that produces about 300,000 barrels of oil a day, mostly for export.

In December, the army launched an offensive against tribesmen suspected of repeatedly sabotaging the pipeline, sparking clashes which left 17 people dead.

According to official figures, lost production due to pipeline attacks in the east cost the government more than $1 billion in 2012, while oil exports fell by 4.5 percent.

In July, Petroleum and Minerals Minister Hisham Abdullah said Yemen had lost more than $4 billion (3.1 billion euros) in revenues since February 2011 as a result of such attacks.