The denial of export credit facilities to Yemen presents problems for other plans to build new refineries. Muse Stancil of the US is carrying out a feasibility study for a new refinery at Ras Isa, which is the terminal for the oil export pipeline from Marib. The plans are highly ambitious. The first, 50,000-b/d phase, includes port facilities and is expected to cost about $250 million. A second phase would increase capacity to 100,000 b/d.

Local businessman Said al-Khorbach has a licence to build another, 125,000- b/d refinery at Mukalla, at an estimated cost of $300 million. At present, Yemeni oil production is insufficient to justify the Aden upgrade and two new refineries in addition. Observers have also drawn the inevitable conclusion that only one of the schemes is likely to make much headway this year.