SANAA, June 20 (Reuters) - Yemen’s main oil export pipeline has been repaired and crude is again flowing to the terminal on the Red Sea after tribesman blew up a section of the link last week, a Yemeni oil official said on Thursday.
Friday’s explosion followed a day after the completion of repairs to damage from a similar attack on May 24, before which the pipeline had been pumping around 125,000 barrels per day (bpd).
The Arabian Peninsula state, which relies on crude exports to replenish its reserves and finance up to 70 percent of budget spending, has suffered frequent bombings of its main pipeline in central Maarib province since an uprising broke out in 2011.
The tribesman have given an ultimatum to the government to respond to their demands by Friday evening or they will blow up the pipeline again, the official said.
“They are asking for financial compensation for damages incurred to them during the previous years,” the official said, without elaborating.
A third of Yemen’s 25 million people live under a poverty line of $2 a day and unemployment is estimated at around 35 percent - with youth joblessness at 60 percent.
Yemen’s stability is a priority for the United States and its Gulf Arab allies because of its strategic position next to oil exporter Saudi Arabia and shipping lanes, and because is home to one of al Qaeda’s most active wings. (Reporting By Mohammed Ghobari; Writing By Maha El Dahan; Editing by Anthony Barker)