SANAA, March 22 Yemeni tribesmen bombed Yemen's
main crude export pipeline on Saturday, forcing oil flows to be
stopped, industry sources told Reuters.
Yemen's oil and gas pipelines have repeatedly been sabotaged
by insurgents or angry tribesmen since anti-government protests
created a power vacuum in 2011, causing fuel shortages and
slashing export earnings for the impoverished country.
Its main export pipeline carries around 70,000-110,000 bpd
of Marib light crude an export terminal on the Red Sea.
"The pipeline was attacked by tribesmen. The damage is quite
big and oil flow as stopped," said an industry source, declining
to be identified.
A long closure in 2011 forced Yemen's largest refinery at
Aden to shut, leaving the small producer dependent on fuel
donations from Saudi Arabia and imports.
The demands of the tribesmen were not known, but in the past
they have wanted relatives to be released from prisons or to
protest against their unemployment.
Yemen's stability is a priority for the United States and
its Gulf Arab allies because of its strategic position next to
top oil exporter Saudi Arabia and shipping lanes, and because it
is home to one of the most active wings of al Qaeda.
(Reporting by Mohamed Ghobari; Writing by Amena Bakr; Editing
by Raissa Kasolowsky)