Business & Economy
Written By: Mohammed al-Kibsi
Article Date: Sep 18, 2012 - 9:48:53 PM
Yemen ministry of oil and minerals has invited international companies to bid for exploration and development rights in five oil blocks around the country as it gives top priority to building up its oil output and reserves, newly appointed Oil Minister Ahmed Dares said.
Newly appointed Minister of Oil and minerals Ahmad Dares
“The auction aimed to attract foreign investment and increase exploration operations,” Dares told journalists in a press conference held in Sana’a, last Sunday.
The blocks on offer are 6, 15, 84, 85 and 102, which are located in the Al-Saba'ateen basin in north Yemen, the Say'un-Masila basin, and the basin of Mukalla-Sayhoot, in South Yemen.
"Increasing oil production and reserves through expanding exploration blocks... is a top priority for Yemen at the moment," said Dares.
Seismic lines planned to be acquired in 2012
Dares was appointed as minister of oil and minerals replacing Hisham Sharaf who was appointed as a minister of higher education on September 11, 2012 within a reshuffle made by president Hadi. The reshuffle included replacement of head of the intelligence system and five governors in addition to the ministries of oil and higher education.
Yemen is a small producer with proven oil reserves of around 3 billion barrels as of Jan. 1, 2012, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).
Oil reserves and production are sourced from two areas, the Marib-Jawf basin in the north, and Say'un-Masila basin in the south. The government estimates the Masila basin holds about 84 percent of the total.
Yemen is struggling to tame insurgency and rebuild its economy after years of conflict. Political turbulence last year pushed oil output below 200,000 barrels per day.
Exploration wells planned to be drilled in 2012
Yemen's oil and gas exports have been repeatedly interrupted by attacks on pipelines by militants or disgruntled tribesmen since anti-government protests created a power vacuum in 2011. This has led to fuel shortages and slashed earnings.
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