ADEN Jan 7 Tribesmen in the eastern Yemen
province of Hadramawt have blown up an oil pipeline for the
second time in two days, disrupting an important source of
revenue for the impoverished state.
The attacks targeted a pipeline with a capacity of 120,000
barrels a day carrying crude from the Masila field, the most
important in Yemen, local and tribal officials said.
Tuesday's blast, which caused a fireball that could be seen
from several kilometres away, struck in the Wadi Urf area, while
Monday's attack on the same pipeline was in the Sah area.
Tensions between tribes in Hadramawt and the government have
been running high since early December, when an important chief
was killed in a shooting at an army checkpoint, local media have
The tribes have demanded the authorities pull their forces
from the province, have attacked government and energy
facilities and late last month overran an oil ministry building
The latest pipeline attacks were in response to fighting on
Saturday between tribes and the army in which a young man was
killed, local sources said. The tribes issued the army with an
ultimatum to hand over the soldiers who killed him.
Yemen's oil income has been in decline for the past decade,
but still represents around 70 percent of state revenues in the
Arabian Peninsula country.
On Monday, Canada's Calvalley Petroleum said
recent disruptions in Hadramawt had impacted on crude shipments
rather than production capacity, but that some output had been
shut down because storage tanks were full.
On Sunday Yemen said it had repaired another main pipeline
in the north of the country after it was bombed by members of a
different tribal group in December. Yemeni pipelines have also
periodically been attacked by Islamist militants.
Poverty in Yemen could undermine the country's fragile
political transition after its long-term leader Ali Abdullah
Saleh was ousted in 2012.
Western governments fear a failure to accommodate the
country's rival political, regional and tribal groups would lead
to chaos that could be exploited by al Qaeda, which has a strong
presence in remote areas.
(Reporting By Mohammed Mukhashaf; Writing by Angus McDowall;
Editing by Mike Collett-White)