Assailants blow up Yemen's main oil pipe again: industry source
ADEN (Reuters) - Unknown assailants blew up Yemen's main oil pipeline again on Tuesday night, an oil industry source said on Wednesday.
Yemen's oil and gas pipelines have been repeatedly sabotaged since anti-government protests created a power vacuum in 2011, causing fuel shortages and slashing export earnings for the impoverished country.
The source said the latest attackers detonated an explosives charge beneath the pipeline in Sirwah area in Maarib province late on Tuesday.
"The explosion set the pipeline on fire and caused a leak," the source said.
The blast stopped flows from the Maarib fields to the Ras Isa oil terminal on the Red Sea, from which crude is shipped to Yemen's main refinery in Aden.
Oil sources said repair teams were being deployed to the area on Wednesday to fix the pipeline which was also bombed in February and January.
The pipeline used to carry around 110,000 bpd of Marib light crude to Ras Isa, but Yemen said in December that oil was being pumped through the pipeline at a rate of around 70,000 barrels per day (bpd).
A long closure of the supply line last year forced the Aden refinery to shut, leaving the small oil producer dependent on fuel donations from Saudi Arabia and on costly imports.
(Reporting By Mohammed Mukhashaf, writing by Sami Aboudi, editing by Daniel Fineren)