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Yemen LNG gas pipeline blown up again

Oil pipelines sabotaged repeatedly since protests last year created power vacuum

Gulf News

Sana’a: A gas pipeline feeding Yemen’s only liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal was blown up again on Tuesday night, the operating company said on Wednesday.

“Yemen LNG confirms the sabotage of the 38 inch gas pipeline that links block 18 to the Balhaf terminal on the Gulf of Aden,” said the company, run by France’s Total. “The explosion occurred at 2200 on October 30, 2012 at 295km north of Balhaf Liquefaction Plant.”

Yemen’s oil and gas pipelines have been sabotaged repeatedly since anti-government protests last year created a power vacuum, which armed groups have exploited to cause fuel shortages and slash export earnings in the impoverished country.

The 320-km pipeline supplying the $4.5-billion (Dh16.52 billion) plant has been attacked several times by suspected Al Qaida-linked gunmen after military strikes on Islamist militants.

The Balhaf facility, which opened in 2009, has the capacity to supply up to 6.7 million tonnes and delivers LNG, gas-cooled to liquid for export by ship, under long-term contracts to GDF Suez, Total and Korea Gas Corp.

The operator did not say when the pipeline might be reopened.