Oil Reserves in Yemen
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To date, Yemens territory has been divided into 84 blocks, only 11 of which actually produce Oil. Around half of the blocks have been licensed for exploration and possible production of oil and/or Natural Gas. Unlike much of the Petroleum and natural gas production in the region, Yemeni production is heavily reliant on private foreign companies, with more than 20 foreign firms operating concessions. Dozens of other foreign and domestic companies are partners in the concessions, including ExxonMobil and TransGlobe Energy. Since the withdrawal of major international oil companies in the mid-to-late 1990s, due to a combination of economic and security issues, the government of Yemen has targeted smaller, independent oil companies to take part in Production Sharing Agreements (PSAs).
Currently there are nine PSAs in existence. Canadas Nexen, which owns 52 percent of the Masila (Block 14) and an 87.5 percent of East Al Hajr (Block 51), produces around 200,000 bbl/d in Yemen - 170,000 bbl/d from Masila and 30,000 bbl/d from East Al Hajr. US-based Hunt Oil produces an estimated 125,000 bbl/d as Well --75,000 bbl/d from Marib al Jawf (Block 18) and 50,000 bbl/d from the Jannah Block.
In March 2005, Yemens Parliament decided to terminate Hunts Block 18 concession when it expires in November, despite an earlier agreement to extend it by 5 years. Hunt, which has operated in Yemen since 1984, reacted by threatening legal action against the Yemeni government, while hinting that the companys participation in the Yemen LNG project could be adversely impacted. Nexen has indicated interest in Hunts Block 18 if the concession is not renewed. However, in mid-September 2005, the government reportedly was considering a consortium of Premier Oil and the Yemen Oil Company to replace Hunt.
Frances Total produces around 35,000 bbl/d from its East Shabwa concession. U.K. independent Dove Energy, which operates the East-Saar (Block 53, including the Sharyoof field), produces an estimated 25,000 bbl/d. Norways DNO produces an estimated 16,000 bbl/d in the Hawarim Block (Block 32 - Tasour field), 15,000 bbl/d in Nabrajah (online in July 2005) and 5,000 bbl/d in South Hawarim (Block 43). In mid-September 2005, Yemen awarded Koreas KNOC the rights to develop and operate Iyad (Block 4), which produces around 500 bbl/d. Independent Vintage Oil operates the S1 block (Damis, including the An Nagyah field ), with production of 8,500 bbl/d. Calvalley is expected to bring on 8,000 bbl/d from its Malik (Block 9) field in 2006.
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Oil Reserves in Yemen