SANAA, July 24 Yemen resumed pumping crude oil
through its main export pipeline on Thursday, an oil official
said, after repairs took place under army protection and seven
people were killed in brief clashes between solders and
Tribesmen on July 12 blew up the pipeline in the Serwah area
of the central Maarib province, halting crude flows and
disrupting a main source of revenue for the impoverished state.
The Defence Ministry's September 26 website reported on
Wednesday that five government soldiers and two tribesmen were
killed in clashes, which erupted when troops fought off armed
tribesmen blocking a road leading to the site.
Engineers, working under army guard, managed to repair the
pipeline, the website reported. A local oil official told
Reuters that pumping resumed on Thursday.
Yemen's oil and gas pipelines have repeatedly been sabotaged
by insurgents or tribesmen since anti-government protests led to
a power vacuum in 2011, causing fuel shortages and slashing
The government relies on crude exports to bolster foreign
currency reserves and finance up to 70 percent of its spending.
The Maarib pipeline carries around 70,000-110,000 barrels
per day of Marib light crude from the Safer oilfields to the Ras
Isa oil terminal on the Red Sea, the officials said. It was
repaired in late May after a previous attack by tribesmen.
Disgruntled tribesmen carry out such assaults to pressure
the government to provide jobs, settle land disputes, or free
relatives from prison.
Lawlessness in Yemen is a global concern - particularly 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 it is home to one of al Qaeda's most
Yemen is struggling to restore state authority after
long-serving President Ali Abdullah Saleh was forced to step
down in 2011.
(Reporting by Mohammed Ghobari; Writing by Sami Aboudi; editing
by Jane Baird)