Oil shipment leaves government-held Shabwa port despite STC attempt to prevent exports
A shipment of crude oil was exported from the Al-Nashima port in Shabwa governorate on Wednesday, despite efforts by the UAE-backed Southern Transitional Council (STC) to prevent the deal, a source in an oil company in Shabwa told Almasdar Online.
During the two-day period, a total of around 600,000 barrels of crude oil were exported from port, the source said. The oil shipment was jointly produced by the Austrian company OMV, which operates in Al-Oqla fields in Shabwa, and the state-owned Safer Exploration & Production Operations Company (SEPOC) headquartered in Marib.
Local government authorities and the oil companies initially faced an impediment to exporting the oil, after STC officials in Aden prevented a tugboat from leaving the port in Aden to reach Shabwa. Al-Nashimah oil port does not have a permanent tugboat for towing large vessels and tankers to and from the port, and therefore the port management typically rents the tugboat based in Aden.
In an official letter dated May 7 and signed by Ahmed Bin Buraik, the acting president of the STC, officials aligned with the separatist group were explicitly ordered to prevent the tugboat from leaving the port in Aden because it would be “for the benefit of the corrupt powers” in Shabwa.
According to the source, port authorities in Shabwa were able to secure a tugboat from elsewhere, as there are several different options, including in Hadhramout’s Mukalla port, albeit more expensive to rent.
Shabwa ports remain split between government forces and UAE forces. The oil terminal in the port of Al-Nashima is controlled by the government, while the Belhaf natural gas terminal continues to be controlled by the UAE.
Edited by Alkhatab Alrawhani