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