SANAA (Reuters) - Armed men blew up Yemen’s main oil export pipeline on Wednesday, a local official said, halting crude flows and disrupting an important source of revenue for the impoverished state.
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 export earnings.
Earlier on Wednesday, Yemen raised fuel prices in an attempt to ease the burden of energy subsidies on its state finances.
Sanaa earned just $671 million from exporting crude oil in January-May, down nearly 40 percent from a year earlier, as a result of the frequent bombings.
The latest attack happened in the Wady Obaida area of the central oil-producing province of Maarib, halting the flow of crude to the Ras Isa oil terminal on the Red Sea, the local official said.
The Maarib pipeline carries around 70,000-110,000 barrels per day of Marib light crude. It was last repaired on July 24 after it was blown up on July 12.
Disgruntled tribesmen carry out such assaults to pressure the government to provide jobs, settle land disputes, or free relatives from prison.
Reporting by Mohammed Ghobari; Writing by Maha El Dahan; Editing by Ruth Pitchford