(Reuters) - Yemen’s 150,000 barrels per day Aden oil refinery resumed operations on Sunday after being shut for more than a year as the conflict in the country worsened, an industry official at the refinery said.
“The refinery is back online and is refining 66,000 tonnes from the 1 million barrels it received from the Dabbah port it had in storage from before,” the source told Reuters adding the refinery was now operating at half of its processing capacity.
Power stations in the southern city of Aden have struggled to access fuel since exiled President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s forces drove the Iran-allied Houthi group out in July last year.
“Now the refinery can begin supplying to the power stations, and be used for other domestic purposes,” the official added.
Hours later the Hadi-run state news agency sabanew.net, quoted the chief executive of Aden Refinery Company, Mohammad al-Bakri, as saying that “the flame of the refinery has been lit” and with it comes the “economic revitalization” of Aden and its neighboring governates.
Bakri also said it is now crucial for crude oil supplies to continue flowing into the refinery either from the Masila oilfields or from “allied states”.
On Aug. 11 Yemen, a non-OPEC producer, resumed production and exports from its Masila oilfields for the first time since a civil war began more than 16 months ago.
The war pits the Houthi group, backed by troops loyal to ex-President Ali Abdullah Saleh, and the internationally recognized Hadi government, which is backed by Saudi Arabia.
Hadi’s government has regained control of large parts of the country’s south and east in the past year.
Most foreign oil companies left the country after the war began in March 2015.
Reporting by Mohammad Mukhashaf, Writing by Celine Aswad, Editing by Mark Potter and Angus MacSwan