Workers, engineers, accountants and all the staff of the newly-established national oil company, Petromasila, have been on strike since Thursday, demanding their previous owed payments from the former operator of the company, Canadian Nexen, which left Yemen in December, be paid.
The strike has caused a complete halt of operation at Masila Oil Field, the country biggest, which its exportation of oil is estimated at 160,000 barrel per day (bpd) and therefore costing the country around $17.5 million.
The halt of oil exports from the Masila oil field has dealt a severe blow to the Yemeni economy as oil exportation accounts for more than 75% of its public budget revenues and given that the second major oil field in Mareb province is non-operational for more than six months due to repeated attacks on its pipelines from tribesmen, Yemeni official at Ministry of oil told Yemen Post.
For its part, Total, the French Oil Company, an operator at Masila Oil Field with around 70000 barrels of oil production per day, suspended operation in the site because of the strike.
The union of Petromasila workers puts down the current bad shape of their company to the rampant corruption at the Ministry of Oil and Oil Exploration Authority, according to a senior engineer, who wished not to be named.
"Even though we repeatedly asked officials in the Oil Ministry not to let Canadian Nexen, the former operator of the company, leave, they [referring to the officials] did not heed our rightful demands," said the engineer.