Crude oil has once again begun to flow through Yemen’s 110,000 b/d main oil export pipeline after technical teams repaired damage sustained by an earlier attack, MEES learns. Engineers completed repair work on the 438km pipeline linking Block 18 in Yemen’s central Marib field to the Ras Issa terminal on the Red Sea, with pumping resuming later that day. “The pipeline has now been repaired,” a Yemeni industry source told MEES on 31 December. “Crude is now flowing, but still at a reduced rate.” State-owned Safer Exploration and Production Operating Company (SEPOC), which operates the pipeline, declined to comment.

Energy installations have been repeatedly attacked by Islamic militants and local tribesmen since the start of protests against former president ‘Ali ‘Abd Allah Salih in early 2011. These protests led to the ousting of the Salih regime and created a power vacuum that armed groups have looked to exploit. Attacks on oil pipelines and power lines had recently raised fears of an imminent fuel crisis (MEES, 30 November 2012), prompting the authorities to launch an offensive last month against local tribesmen with alleged links to the bombings (CONTINUED - 317 WORDS)