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Thu 6 Sep 2012 12:00 PM

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Yemen starts repairs on bombed oil pipeline

Yemen started repairs to main Maarib pipeline on Thursday following attack by tribesmen

Yemen starts repairs on bombed oil pipeline

Yemen started repairs to its main Maarib oil pipeline on Thursday following an attack by tribesmen on Tuesday night that halted crude flow but has not affected exports, the country's oil minister said.

"Resumption of pumping oil is expected within days," Minister Hisham Sharaf told Reuters, adding the attack on the pipeline did not halt exports because of crude held in storage.

"Security forces are chasing those involved in Tuesday night's bombing," he said.

The Maarib pipeline typically carried 110,000 bpd of light crude to the Ras Isa export terminal on the Red Sea coast until a spate of attacks in 2011.

A long closure of the pipeline last year forced the country's largest refinery at Aden to shut, leaving the small producer dependent on fuel donations from Saudi Arabia and imports.

Yemen's oil and gas pipelines have been repeatedly sabotaged by Islamist militants or disgruntled tribesmen since anti-government protests created a power vacuum in 2011 that armed groups have exploited, causing fuel shortages and slashing export earnings for the impoverished country.

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