DUBAI Dec 29 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia will donate 500,000 tonnes of oil products to Yemen, which has been struggling to get fuel as its largest refinery has been shut for over a month after several blasts on its oil pipeline halted crude flow.
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.
"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 industry source said.
This would be the second time this year that Saudi Arabia would be throwing a lifeline to its impoverished southern neighbour, which relied on 3 million barrels of Saudi-donated crude oil to run its refinery in June, when its main pipeline was again shut after blasts.
The poorest Arab country has been in chaos this year with 11 months of demonstrations demanding the end of President Ali Abdullah Saleh's 33-year rule.
Its main pipeline carrying high-quality sweet Maarib crude is shut once again, after consecutive blasts on it in October. The lack of crude flow in the pipeline has also forced the Aden refinery, which mainly produces to meet the domestic fuel demand, to halt operations.