August 8, 2014 / 12:45 PM / 3 years ago

Yemen resumes pumping oil through main export pipeline -govt source

SANAA, Aug 8 (Reuters) - Yemen has resumed pumping crude through its main export pipeline after repair works were completed, government and oil sources said on Friday, more than a week after armed men blew it up, halting flows and disrupting an important source of revenue.

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.

A government source in Maarib said authorities persuaded tribesmen to allow repair work to proceed after some gunmen tried to block the road to engineers and fired shots towards them.

“Crude pumping to Ras Isa port (on the Red Sea) has resumed,” an oil source in the area told Reuters.

Yemen has struggled to restore state authority over the country since the 2011 protests. An al Qaeda insurgency and lawlessness in areas controlled by armed tribesmen are the main challenges facing President Abd Rabbu-Mansour Hadi’s government.

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 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.

Tribesmen carry out such attacks to put pressure on the government to provide jobs, settle land disputes or free relatives from prison.

Reporting by Mohammed Ghobari; Writing by Sami Aboudi, editing by David Evans

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