SANAA, Yemen, May 7 (UPI) -- Unidentified gunmen launched two attacks on the export pipeline connecting Yemen’s oil fields with the Red Sea, igniting a fire and stopping the flow of oil, the country’s major export.
The pipeline was damaged Tuesday at Al-Hatik, near Wadi Abida in the relatively anarchic Marib province, with a second attack and additional damage about 500 meters (.54 miles) away, tribal officials said Wednesday.
“The pipeline was badly damaged in the attack, which was the most serious this year,” an unidentified oil industry official said. “Technicians have not yet managed to control the fire that broke out in the pipeline, interrupting the flow of oil.”
No injuries were reported.
The 320-kilometer (200-mile) pipeline links the Safer oil fields to an export terminal on the Yemeni coast. Attacks on oil and gas pipelines cost Yemen $4.75 billion in lost revenue between March 2011 and March 2013, the country’s oil ministry said in December.
The attack Tuesday came as the Yemeni army is conducting a major offensive against Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula in the country’s southern and central provinces.