Two employees of US-based firm Hunt Oil, American and Canadian nationals, were shot dead in Yemen Tuesday, March 18, by a local perpetrator who is reported to have killed himself immediately afterwards, according to Yemeni sources.
The attack took place within the company’s compound in Yemen’s oil-rich Marib province, against a backdrop of rising Anti-American sentiment linked to the heightened tension in the Gulf region and the imminent US-led military strike against Iraq.
While Yemen, the ancestral homeland of Osama Bin Laden, remains an accessible sanctuary for Al-Qaeda, the Marib Province in particular is also home to four powerful tribes which have it earned a reputation for lawlessness. Since 1990, tribesmen have kidnapped and ransomed more than 100 foreigners who ventured into their territory.
Hunt Oil is a privately held exploration and production company, conducting worldwide petroleum operations for over 68 years. In 1981, the independent energy company signed a production sharing agreement with the government of the Republic of Yemen and began operations.
Oil was not produced in Yemen until 1984, when the Yemen Hunt Oil Company (YHOC), a local subsidiary of US Hunt Oil, struck oil with its first wildcat. The company subsequently constructed a 423-kilometer pipeline across the mountains to the Red Sea, and Yemen joined the ranks of oil exporting countries, reaching production levels exceeding 150,000 barrels per day (bpd).
Large reserves of natural gas, estimated at 10 trillion cubic feet, have also been discovered. The Marib refinery, operated by Yemen Hunt Oil Company, has a crude refining capacity of 10,000 bpd. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )