DNO suspends operations in Yemen and relocates staff to Dubai

The Norwegian oil and gas company DNO on Tuesday said that it had suspended production in Yemen because of the continuing deterioration of security conditions.

DNO, 42.8 per cent owned by RAK Petroleum, said that expatriate employees have been relocated to Dubai. “The company continues to monitor the situation closely and has initiated plans to secure its facilities and remove non-essential staff,” DNO said.

Its Yemen troubles adds to the company’s other woes, with DNO’s share price declining by 43 per cent since early February alone as it struggles to get back payments owed, especially from the Kurdish Regional Government.

DNO’s shares were down 0.79 Norwegian krone late in the UAE day at 10.40 krone.

DNO is not alone in pulling out of Yemen. On Monday, Total of France, the largest operator in the war-torn country, operating several fields and a liquefied natural gas terminal at Balhaf, said it had evacuated all expatriate staff from Sanaa and Kharir but was maintaining LNG production and exports via Balhaf.

Total had previously said that operations on its Block 10 in Yemen had been cut, with gas production maintained only for local power generation and to supply local communities.

Yemen’s oil production has fallen sharply in the past decade, with the escalating conflict between the warring Sunni and Shia factions adding to the natural decline of its fields. Production last year was 130,000 barrels per day (bpd), down from a peak of 440,000 bpd in 2001.

Yemen recently began producing natural gas at a rate of about 300 billion cubic feet a year, with 90 per cent of that being exported via the Balhaf LNG terminal.

DNO said that before suspension, production from its Block 32 and Block 43 averaged a combined 1,950 bpd, of which its interest was 950 bpd.


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