Yemen's main oil pipeline attacked, pumping stopped

SANAA Fri May 24, 2013 8:09am EDT

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SANAA (Reuters) - Attackers blew up Yemen's main oil export pipeline on Friday, halting the flow of crude, the government and industry sources said.

"Subversive elements" in Serwah in central Maarib province had blown up the pipeline, which leads to the Red Sea, at dawn on Friday, the Defense Ministry said in a statement.

The Arabian Peninsula state, which relies on crude exports to replenish its reserves and finance up to 70 percent of budget spending, has suffered frequent bombings of its main oil pipeline since an uprising broke out in 2011.

Sabotage of oil pipelines and transmission towers in Maarib had increased dramatically in recent days, the ministry said.

The pipeline had been pumping around 125,000 barrels per day (bpd), an industry source told Reuters.

Yemen's stability is a priority for the United States and its Gulf Arab allies because of its strategic position next to oil exporter Saudi Arabia and shipping lanes, and because is home to one of al Qaeda's most active wings.

(Reporting by Mohammed Ghobari; Writing by Raissa Kasolowsky; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

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Comments (1)
MikeBarnett wrote:
After the US killed bin Laden in 2011, Ayman al Zawahiri decided to stop attempts to destroy shoes and underwear on airliners and move al Qaeda’s troops into position to attack oil and gas supplies in north Africa and the Arabian peninsula. Muslims regard oil as the Arabic national treasure, but pipeline attacks burn little oil and make impressive fireballs to drive up the terror premium. Muslims must make donations to charity, and islamic insurgent groups build schools and clinics, so they qualify. In addition, oil and gas drive the West’s economies and militaries, so these attacks hurt western enemies while they increase revenues for islamic insurgent groups. This attack in Yemen is a dual victory for al Qaeda and other islamic insurgents.

May 24, 2013 1:32pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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