Yemen joins gas exporters'' club
November 9, 2009
Yemen began pumping at its newly built liquefied natural gas plant in the Gulf of Aden, joining the ranks of other gas exporters in the region, according to the Associated Foreign Press. In a ceremony, President Ali Abdullah Saleh inaugurated exports by pushing a button giving the order to start pumping LNG from the terminal to a vessel anchored offshore. The first shipment was to be sent to South Korea, with plans to also supply Europe and North America. The 4.5-billion-dollar project, with a 320-kilometer gas pipeline from Maarib in eastern Yemen, aims to reach a total production capacity of 6.7 million tons of LNG a year. France’s Total is a major shareholder in the project. Last year Yemen produced less than 300,000 barrels per day of crude oil, and production is decreasing by five to six percent a year. The Balhaf plant began production with a single liquefying unit but a second is under construction. Once a second unit comes on line, Yemen will be able to export 180,000 barrels per day. The country has about 259 billion cubic meters in proven natural gas reserves.