Lack of crude stops production at Yemen's Aden oil refinery

20 November 2011

Yemen’s largest refinery forced to shut down

The latest attack on Yemen’s Marib pipeline has brought output to a halt at the Aden refinery on 19 November after crude supplies ran out.

The refinery had been trying to cope with crude shortages by cutting production to only 40,000 barrels a day (b/d) from 150,000 b/d normally, Reuters news agency reports.

The 120,000 barrel-a-day (b/d) Marib pipeline, which carries oil from fields in Block 18 in the central Marib province to the Ras Isa terminal on the Red Sea, was attacked in mid-October. Some of the crude is shipped to Aden to be refined. Revenues from the exports are then used to buy heavier crudes, particularly from Iran, to be used as the main feedstock for the Aden refinery (MEED 6:7:11).

According to a company official, negotiations are under way to secure alternative supplies. Saudi Arabia has previously intervened with the shipment of 3 million barrels in July.

Yemen produced about 280,000 b/d of oil in 2010, according to UK oil major BP. Only half of this is exported.

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