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Houthi Rebels Detain Fuel Tankers At Oil Port Hodeidah

Irina Slav

The Yemeni Houthi rebels have detained 10 vessels, including fuel tankers, at the port of Hodeidah, and are preventing them from offloading their cargo, The National reports, citing Yemen’s state news agency Saba, which in turn quoted the chief of the country’s Supreme Relief Committee, Abdulraqeeb Fatah.

The author could not find the original news report on Saba’s website. The agency is pro-Houthi.

According to the report in The National, the vessels waiting to unload at Hodeidah include an Indian-flagged tanker that arrived in late September with cargo of 10,955 tons of diesel fuel and 9.025 tons of gasoline. Some vessels, the National quoted Fatah as saying, had been held up at the port for as long as six months.

The port city is currently a battlefield between the Iran-backed Houthis and the coalition of Saudi and Emirati forces that are trying to restore the elected president of Yemen at the helm. The war has led to a severe humanitarian crisis, but despite multiple similar warnings from a variety of organizations including the UN, there seems to be no end to the conflict in sight.

What began as a civil war back in 2015 quickly escalated into a regional conflict after Saudi Arabia decided to join in, along with the UAE. The battle for Hodeidah, which according to many will tip the scales one way or the other, began in June.

Yemen’s oil reserves have been estimated at 3 billion barrels. Even before the start of the civil war, the country wasn’t a major oil producer, especially compared to the other countries in the Middle East.

Yemen’s production peaked at 441,000 bpd in 2001, according to EIA estimates. Since then, the natural decline of maturing oil fields and frequent attacks on oil infrastructure led to Yemeni production dropping to less than 150,000 bpd in 2013. The year before the 2015 civil war started, Yemen’s crude oil production was estimated at around 100,000 bpd in March 2014, EIA data shows.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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