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Yemen Resumes Oil Output, Exports from Masila Fields

Source: Reuters 8/11/2016, Location: Middle East

Yemen has resumed production and exports from its Masila oilfields for the first time since a civil war began more than 16 months ago, state news agency sabanew.net reported.

The agency, which is run by the exiled government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, quoted oil minister Saif al-Sharif as saying Yemen also hoped to resume production from the Shabwa and Marib oilfields.

Sharif said Yemen hoped to resume exporting oil and natural gas from Ras Isa port, on the Red Sea, and Balahaf on the Gulf of Aden, but gave no details on timing or quantity.

An oil ministry official said last month that Yemen had sold 3 million barrels of crude to commodities trader Glencore , drawing criticism from the main refinery struggling to provide fuel for local power stations.

Yemen is a small producer with proven oil reserves of around 3 billion barrels, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

The impoverished country has been gripped by war pitting the Iran-allied Houthi group, backed by troops loyal to ex-President Ali Abdullah Saleh and the internationally recognised Hadi government, which is backed by Saudi Arabia.

Hadi's government has regained control of large parts of the country's south and east in the past year. Most foreign oil companies left the country after the war began in March 2015.

Yemen pumped an average of around 127,000 barrels per day (bpd) in 2014 but output declined to about 44,000 bpd in July 2015, the EIA had said.

Yemen has two primary crude streams: the light and sweet Marib and the medium-gravity and more sulphur-rich Masila. According to the government, the southeast Masila Basin holds more than 80 percent of the country's reserves, an EIA report said.

The EIA has said nearly all output from Yemen's oil and natural gas fields had been shut since the war began.

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