Yemen LNG cuts cargoes after pipeline blast
Loss of four cargoes as militants attack gas pipeline to Balhuf
Yemen’s LNG project will lift four fewer cargoes than scheduled after gunmen blew up a section of the pipeline channeling natural gas from block 18 to the Balhaf liquefaction facility on the Gulf of Aden.
“Yemen LNG confirms the sabotage of the 38 inch gas pipeline that links the block 18 to the Balhaf terminal on the Gulf of Aden,” Yemen LNG said in a statement on Friday night. “The explosion occurred at 22h00 on 30 March 2012 in a desertic zone at 40 KM North of Balhaf Liquefaction Plant.”
Yemen LNG said the loss of LNG shipments would have been much greater but for a planned shutdown on 15 April which would have seen the $4.5 billion, 6.7 million tonne per year plant shut down anyway. No victims have been reported as a result of the blast.
Yemen remains beset by issues with regional security after a transitional process saw the notional election of former vice-president Abdu Rabbu Mansour al-Hadi. The country’s oil infrastructure has been regularly targeted for sabotage, crippling government revenues.
Yemen LNG has got off more lightly, with only one previous pipeline attack in mid-October last year, which caused only minor disruption to LNG shipments. The Balhuf facility was back online a week after the previous attack, and Yemen LNG said at the time that security and surveillance at the project's infrastructure would be beefed up.
France’s Total is the lead partner in Yemen LNG, with a 39.62% interest. The other Partners are Hunt (17.22%); Yemen Gas Company, (16.73%); SK Corporation, (9.55%); Korea Gas, (6%); Hyundai,( 5.88%); and GASSP, (5%).
60% of Yemen LNG's exports head for Asia, while 25% head to the Americas and 15% to Europe. The company honoured all 106 of its cargo contracts last year, despite the October attack.