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Yemen blast disables oil pipeline

A fire that broke out took six hours to bring under control

Gulf News

Aden: An explosion on an oil pipeline in southeastern Yemen has suspended a South Korean-run operation, which pumps 8,000 barrels of crude per day, energy and security officials said.

“Unknown assailants placed an explosive device under the pipeline” running from the Iyadh region in Shabwa province to Belhaf terminal on the Gulf of Aden, a security source said.

An oil ministry official said the blast in Al Batana, near the town of Ataq, damaged the pipeline operated by Korea National Oil Co (KNOC) and “pumping has been interrupted”.

A fire that broke out took six hours to bring under control, witnesses said.

Gas and oil pipelines have been a regular target for sabotage attacks in the impoverished Arabian Peninsula nation, which relies on its modest energy exports as a main source of revenue.

The attacks, blamed on tribesmen seeking to barter with the authorities or Al Qaida, have become more frequent in the wake of a 2011 uprising that forced out veteran strongman Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Yemen had lost more than $4 billion in revenues since February 2011 due to the attacks, Petroleum and Minerals Minister Hisham Abdullah said in early July.