March 26, 2015 / 9:15 AM / 5 years ago

Yemen shuts major ports due to conflict: sources

DOHA (Reuters) - Yemen shut its major seaports on Thursday, industry and local sources said, after neighboring Saudi Arabia and Arab allies launched military operations including air strikes against Iran-allied Houthi forces fighting Yemen’s Western-backed president.

“All major seaports were shut down on Thursday due to the rising conflict,” said an industry source. Local sources in Yemen confirmed the closure.

Yemen exports about 1.4-1.5 million barrels of Masila crude each month, mainly to China.

The ports closed include Aden, Al Mukalla, Al Mokha and Al Hudaydah, the sources said, giving no further details.

The majority of Yemen’s oil production is located in the north of the country, while the rest comes from the southern area of Shabwa.

French oil company Total is the biggest foreign investor in Yemen and operates the Balhaf gas export facility, which mainly exports natural gas to Asia and Europe.

Reporting by Amena Bakr in Doha, Mohamed Ghobari in Cairo, Jonathan Saul in London and Reem Shamseddine in Khobar; editing by David Clarke and Jason Neely

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