Yemen LNG has strongly denied that its facility in Shabwah came under attack from armed militants after it was earlier reported by an unnamed source.
The company issued this statement, “A news agency reported on April 4th an attack against Yemen LNG facilities in Shabwah. Yemen LNG denies this report. There was no attack against any Yemen LNG facility; there was no evacuation of any personnel.”
“Yemen LNG currently operates normally at all worksites and produces LNG at nominal capacity. LNG exports steadily continue at the pace of two LNG carriers per week.”
It was reported by Xinhua news agency on Monday that the Yemeni military led by a provincial army officer had repelled an attack by armed militants against the facility at Balhaf. According to the source, though there were no reported casualties, the French oil giant Total which operates the facility is withdrawing some personnel. Yemen LNG strenuously denies that such an attack ever took place.
The report comes amid fears that the ongoing civil unrest in the country has left a power vacuum, in which an emboldened al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), has been able to operate more freely, western personnel are a common target for such insurgents.
If the Yemen LNG facility were to be taken by the AQAF it would be a propaganda coup for the group, which has been kept in check in recent years by the Yemeni military. It would also be a major blow to the Yemeni economy where unemployment runs at almost 40%, and the Yemen LNG facility is a significant contributor to the country’s GDP.
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