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Extra capacity comes online in Yemen

Oilfield Technology,

With the completion of train 2 at Yemen’s liquefaction plant at Balhaf on the Gulf of Aden, Yemeni LNG production at the facility will gradually be boosted to its maximum design capacity of 6.7 million tpa.

The LNG liquefaction plant has been exporting LNG since October 2009, and LNG has been delivered to Total, GDF Suez and Kogas under 20 year purchase and sale agreements in South Korea, Mexico, China, Spain and North America. The plant is supplied by gas from Block 18 in the Marib region of central Yemen and then piped 320 km to the plant. At a total cost of US$ 4.5 billion, the plant represents the biggest single investment ever in Yemen. Over a 100 shipments of LNG are expected to be exported between 2010 – 2011.

Yemen is the poorest of the Arab states and is currently fighting an insurgency in its own territory, so the new revenues will certainly help the government. Though it produces about 300 000 bpd of oil, production is dropping by 5% per annum. LNG production could be the future for Yemen and Francois Rafin, the Director General of Yemeni Liquefied Natural Gas, estimates that over the next 25 years the project could generate US$ 30 – 40 billion. Given that Yemen has 259 billion m3 of proven natural gas reserves his prediction seems possible.

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