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Yemen's Aden Refinery Resumes Output

Source: Reuters 8/6/2012, Location: Middle East

Yemen's Aden refinery has resumed production after halting operations for nine months because of attacks on the country's main oil pipeline, an official at the refinery told Reuters. Two shipments of crude oil from Yemen's Ras Isa oil terminal on the Red Sea coast have arrived in Aden, enabling the refinery to resume production. It will pump crude at a reduced rate of 60,000 barrels per day (bpd), the official said, declining to be named under briefing rules.

"Production will be regular at the refinery with 600,000 barrel weekly shipments from Ras Isa," the refinery official said. Attacks on the pipeline by disgruntled tribesmen stopped the crude flow last year and forced the closure of the refinery, which has a capacity of 150,0000 bpd. This left the impoverished country dependent on fuel donations from Saudi Arabia and on imports. Last month Yemen's oil minister said the lengthy outage has cost the impoverished country up to $15 million a day in lost revenues.

Yemen's oil and gas pipelines have been repeatedly attacked by Islamic militants or disgruntled tribesmen since anti-government protests created a power vacuum in 2011. Insurgents had been emboldened by a decline in government control over Yemen last year during protests that eventually ousted long-time president Ali Abdullah Saleh, and seized several southern cities before being driven out this year.

Despite the resumption of operations, Yemen's Aden refinery continued to seek oil products via tenders, traders said. The latest one, issued last week, was for 480,000 tonnes of gasoil.

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