Yemeni Prime Minister Mohammed Salem Basindwa approved of the sale of 2.5 million barrels out of nearly 3.1 barrels of the country's Masila crude. The price was listed at $2.15 per barrels above the European benchmark Dated Brent Crude, down from the $2.93 charged for February deliveries.
The remaining 600,000 barrels would be offered at a price approved for March or be deferred for April sales, the official Saba news agency reports.
Yemen is in the grips of a political crisis after embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh signed a deal to hand power over to his vice president in exchange for immunity. Yemen for much of 2011 was caught up in mass protests that were part of the so-called Arab Spring.
In late 2010, al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula was blamed for a raid on the Yemeni headquarters of Austrian energy company OMV.
The country late last year, however, said authorities from OMV and other major oil companies said they would resume operation in Yemen. Their employees had left the country last year because of the unrest.
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