An overnight explosion at Yemen’s main oil pipeline sabotaged transfers of crude to the country’s Red Sea export terminal, the oil ministry said on Wednesday.
The pipeline pumping crude from the Safir fields in Marib province, east of Sanaa, to the Ras Isa terminal “was hit by an explosion in the area of Damashqa in Marib” province, said a spokesman for the petroleum and minerals ministry.
Abdul Qawi Al-Odaini said “work is ongoing to fix the pipeline” which was only repaired around two months ago after an earlier attack.
The spokesman accused a resident of the area of deliberately blowing up the pipeline after his demands from authorities were not met.
Tribal sources said the alleged attacker had threatened to blow up the pipeline if the authorities failed to meet his demand for the arrest of people who murdered a member of his tribe.
Some 125,000 barrels per day normally flow through the pipeline, accounting for the bulk of the country’s oil exports.
Yemen produces only about 300,000 barrels of oil a day, mostly for export.
Oil Minister Hisham Abdullah said in July that repeated attacks on the pipeline have cost the impoverished nation more than four billion dollars in lost revenues since February 2011.
Attacks on oil and gas pipelines by Al-Qaeda militants or by tribesmen seeking to extract concessions from the central government are common in Yemen.