Sanaa is planning a complete review of Yemen’s oil and gas reserves, and is looking for a consultant to oversee the study.

The country’s Petroleum Exploration & Production Authority (Pepa) asked international firms to state their interest in the work by 10 September, and hopes to award a contract before the end of the year.

Pepa wants to know the total amount of oil and gas in the fields that are currently being used for production, and how much of this can be produced commercially. The consultant would evaluate existing studies, set up a new database, and conduct new geological studies.

Sources in the country say that the study is part of Sanaa’s ongoing negotiations with the Washington-based World Bank over how best to steer Yemen’s economy.

Under plans initiated in 2006, the country’s governing General People’s Congress Party (GPC) was meant to diversify the country’s economy through new industrial developments, but Yemen still depends on oil for 70 per cent of its export revenues.

With the money it makes from oil falling sharply as a result of lower prices and production levels, the country is facing a cash crisis, with foreign currency reserves currently at their lowest levels in four years.