Oil minister, Hisham Sharaf, said on Monday Yemen has suffered big losses due to the persistent attacks on its oil and gas pipelines, the Yemeni official agency Saba reported.
At a meeting with the French Foreign minister's Middle East advisor for economic affairs, Sharaf said the losses due to the several-month shutdown of the Marib-Ras Isa oil pipeline were estimated at $2.5 billion, Saba said.
According to the agency, the minister also talked about losses due to the attacks on the gas pipeline in Shabwa, including the fresh blast this morning, but did not give figures. Sources at Yemen LNG, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the company exports at least two cargoes a week.
The attacks on the 38-inch pipeline in the past few months have led to the cancellation of LNG cargoes, according to previous statements by Yemen LNG.
Tribesmen attack the country's pipelines, which pass through deserts, to pressure the authorities to meet demands and al-Qaida to retaliate for drone attacks on its members.
Meantime, the authorities, which have already started repairs to the Marib-Ras Isa pipeline under orders from the president, have been unable to get some areas where it was repeatedly attacked last year.
The pipeline carries about 110.000 barrels of crude a day which are processed at the Aden refinery for local consumption.
Since the pipeline was shut down in October, Yemen has been forced to spend $500 a month to buy fuel besides aid from Saudi Arabia, according to previous statements by the minister.
Yemen consumes about 500.000 tonnes of oil products a month, including 260.000 tonnes of diesel and about 140.000 tonnes of benzene, according to officials at the Aden refinery.
Oil products account for more than 90% of the country's exports and their revenues make up about 70% of the state budget.