Saudi Arabia Donate Fuel to Troubled Yemen

Source: Reuters 12/29/2011, Location: Middle East

Saudi Arabia will donate fuel to Yemen, throwing a second lifeline in six months to its impoverished southern neighbour to prevent a shortage there from escalating into chaos, industry sources said. State oil giant Saudi Aramco will buy oil products from the market but will ask the supplier to discharge the cargo in Yemen instead of in Saudi ports, industry sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. The amount Yemen will receive from Saudi in January will be around 500,000 tonnes.

Nearly a year of protests demanding the end of President Ali Abdullah Saleh's 33 year rule has brought the poorest Arab country to the brink of a civil war. "There is a government to government agreement between Yemen and Saudi Arabia where Aramco is buying the gasoline and gasoil and paying for it," one source familiar with the deal said. Although a small oil producer, Yemen's location on the strategically important Bab al-Mandab strait, through which millions of barrels of oil are shipped between Asia, Europe and the Americas, makes instability there a risk to global trade.


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