Saboteurs blow up Yemen export oil pipeline

SANAA - Saboteurs blew up on Sunday a main oil pipeline in Yemen carrying crude to the Red Sea coast, halting its flow, an industry official and tribal sources said.

The assailants targeted the pipeline at the 107-Kilo spot, in Sarwah district of the Marib province, east of Sanaa, a tribal source said.

The industry official said the flow of oil stopped due to the explosion.

The same pipeline was also attacked on Saturday, but the damage did not cause interruption, another tribal source said.

The 420-kilometre (260-mile) pipeline links the Safir oil fields, in the Marib basin, with Ras Isa export terminal, near Hodeida.

Impoverished Yemen produced an average of 170,000 barrels per day in 2011, down from 259,000 bpd estimated in 2010, due to strikes, attacks on pipelines, and foreign staff evacuation, according to the Energy Information Administration.

The country's production dropped from 440,000 bpd in 2001, due to a lack of sufficient new investment in exploration and inadequate maintenance of facilities, according to EIA.

Yemen exported 103,000 bpd in 2010, EIA said.

According to official figures, lost production due to pipeline attacks cost the government more than US$1 billion (S$1.27 billion) in 2012.