ADEN (Reuters) – A Yemeni provincial official threatened on Thursday to halt oil shipments from the southern Hadramout region if the internationally-recognised government doesn’t comply with demands of protesters against the deteriorating economic situation.
Hadramout Governor Salmeen al-Bahseeni made the threat in a speech broadcast by the regional radio station based in the provincial capital Mukalla.
Hadramout produces about 100,000 barrels per day (bpd), accounting for about half of Yemen’s total oil production.
United Arab Emirates (UAE)-backed southern Yemeni separatists control most southern provinces, including Hadramout, and have been at odds with the Saudi-based president Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.
Yemen is a small producer with proven oil reserves of around 3 billion barrels, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). The country produced about 500,000 bpd before the civil war that broke out in 2014.
South Yemen has been rocked by violent protests in the last two weeks after the Yemeni rial lost more than half its value against the U.S. dollar since the start of a civil war in 2015.
Al-Bahseeni and other southern officials back the protesters and accuse Hadi’s government of mismanagement.
(Reporting by Mohammed Mukhashaf; Writing by Maher Chmaytelli; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)