Sunday, January 1, 2012

Saudi Diesel Grant Covers Two Months-Yemen Oilmin

January 1, 2012
Yemen's oil minister said on Saturday a grant of diesel from Saudi Arabia would be enough to cover the country's needs for two months.
“Yemen’s diesel consumption is 260,000 tonnes monthly, worth $280 million,” oil minister Hisham Sharaf told Reuters.
“We sell it at 25 percent of its cost because of the government subsidy on diesel. The Saudi grant will cover Yemen’s diesel needs for two months.”
Industry sources said on Thursday Saudi Arabia’s Aramco was seeking to buy fuel in order to donate about 500,000 tonnes of products to Yemen in January.
It would be the second time in six months Saudi Arabia has thrown a fuel lifeline to its impoverished neighbour, where a political crisis over demands for the ouster of President Ali Abdullah Saleh drags on. Saudi Arabia fears Yemen could slip into civil war.
Saleh has agreed to step down after 11 months of mass protests. A government split between members of his party and opposition figures is to work with the acting leader, Saleh’s deputy, to lead Yemen to a presidential election in February.
Sharaf said production at the Masila oilfield, now under Yemeni administration after Canada’s Nexen had one of its production contracts expire without renewal, was 70,000 barrels per day.
Yemen relied on 3 million barrels of Saudi-donated crude oil to run its refinery in June, when its main pipeline was shut after blasts, unleashing a fuel shortage that degenerated into clashes in which people were killed at dry petrol stations.
The pipeline, which was repaired during the summer, is shut once again after attacks in October. The lack of crude flow in the pipeline has also forced the Aden refinery, where production mainly meets domestic fuel demand, to halt operations.

Al-Qaida flexing its muscle in Yemen

ZINJIBAR, Yemen, Jan. 1 (UPI) -- Yemeni government military commanders say an al-Qaida faction is consolidating its control over a worrisome region in the south of the nation.
Militants with al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula have been sparring with beleaguered government forces and unilaterally imposing strict Sharia law in the rural area in manner reminiscent of the Taliban in Afghanistan.
"They are already acting like they are rulers of a state," Brig. Gen. Muhammed al-Somli, commander of a government brigade in the al-Qaida stronghold of Abyan, told The Washington Post.
The Post said in a dispatch from one of it reporters in Abyan -- a first for a Western media outlet -- that much of Abyan and the city of Zinjibar were in the hands of al-Qaida. The militants, including fighters from other Middle East nations, have made it clear they want to establish a base for terrorist attacks on the United States.
Somli said his first priority was to keep al-Qaida out of the Yemeni capital of Aden, which has been in turmoil due to pro-democracy demonstrations in the past months.
He said the United States has been helping by training counter-terrorism units and using unmanned drones to take out al-Qaida leaders, but the assistance has so far not been enough to turn the tide.