(MEBG) – The Yemeni government several foreign oil companies are negotiating over concessions in four new onshore blocks that had been opened following a border agreement with Saudi Arabia, reported Gulf News. The company’s involved include Occidental, Ocean Energy, Hunt Oil, Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Co (KUFPEC) and the Hungarian oil company.
Yemen’s Oil and Mineral Resources Minister, Mohammed Al Khadem Al Wajih, said that Yemen's oil revenues in the first six months of 2000 rose to $910 million, compared to $495 million for all of 1999. He said income from oil was expected to reach $1.4 billion by the end of 2000. He added that of the 63 blocks in Yemen, 36 were now open for foreign exploration—including the four that had been added—and that 19 foreign oil firms were operating in 27 blocks, of which five are productive.
Wajih said that the Norwegian oil firm Det Norske Oljeselskap ASA (DNO) was expected to start pumping around 8,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude from block 32 in October, rising to 12,000 bpd by the middle of 2001. Two more blocks were expected to start commercial production next year, including block 53 with around 10,000 bpd.
Wajih said Yemen's long-delayed liquefied natural gas (LNG) project was now on track. He said Yemen has issued documents for the project and expects to receive bids in September. The minister added the managers of the project would select a bidder after an agreement was reached with the firm that would buy the Yemeni gas. France's TotalFinaElf has a 36 per cent stake in the project. Other shareholders include U.S. Hunt Oil and ExxonMobil, which jointly own about 30 per cent.
Yemen is a small independent oil producer pumping around 450,000 bpd and is expected to produce around 470,000 bpd by the end of 2000.
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )