Local officials in the eastern province of Marib confirmed on Tuesday morning that “unidentified assailants” targeted Marib oil pipeline which led to a forced shut down of all activities in the area thus prompting a halt of the oil flow to Ras Isa terminal in the Red Sea.
Once again militants chose to explode Marib oil pipeline as to cripple the state by targeting its main industry. With 70% of its total national income directly relate to the oil and gas industry, Yemen, the poorest and most populous nation in the Arabian Peninsula is almost completely reliant on its natural resources to keep the wheel of its economy spinning. Such exposure has left the country vulnerable to sabotage attacks as unsavoury characters, have attempted to use economic blackmail as a way to forward their political agenda.
Ever since 2011, when the central government lost the little reach and control it had on Yemen’s tribal make up, tribesmen, whether or not affiliated to al-Qaeda have targeted Marib’s oil infrastructures for personal or political gain.
According to a study run by Safer Oil Company, Yemen has sustained an estimated 41 attacks on its oil and gas industry in 2013 alone. As to Yemen’s financial losses, they amount to several billions of dollars in unrealized revenues and unscheduled repairs. Safer report read on the subject, “The Oil Department at the Ministry of Oil and Minerals sustained about $5 billion in losses due to acts of sabotage, and losses of more than $310 million in revenue due to the halt of oil production from March 2011 to the end of 2013.”