Yemeni firefighters try to contain a fire that shut down the country’s main oil pipeline in Marib province. (File photo)
A bomb attack in Yemen’s central province of Marib has brought to a halt oil flow via the country’s main crude export pipeline.
The attack was carried out on Thursday morning by unknown militants, who blew up the Ras Isa pipeline by placing a roadside bomb near the line in Marib’s Serwah area.
The bombing made Yemeni oil industry officials stop the crude pumping from the fields to the export terminal in the Red Sea.
The pipeline, once carrying around 110,000 bpd of Marib light crude, was repeatedly targeted in attacks that began in 2011.
Yemen resumed oil pumping on Dec. 31 at a rate of around 70,000 bpd after repairs.
The country’s oil and gas pipelines have repeatedly been sabotaged by militants or angry tribesmen since a popular revolt against US-backed dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh in early 2011.
The attacks caused fuel shortages and severely slashed export earnings for the impoverished country.
A long closure of the Ras Isa pipeline in 2011 shut down Yemen’s main refinery at Aden, forcing the small producer to import fuel from neighboring Saudi Arabia.