Yemen, which proclaimed in May 1990, is situated in the
southwestern part of the Arabian Peninsula, bordering Saudi Arabia
to the North, the Red Sea to the West, Oman to the East and the
Arabian Sea to the South. Sana'a is our Capital,
Aden has become after the reunification of
Yemen in 1990,
the commercial capital of our country and Al-Hudaidah is the main
port on the Red Sea. Yemen has a coastline of about 2200kms and a
vast mountain range of the
Southern Arabian Peninsula
runs through Yemen with its highest peak, Hadur Shu'ayb at 3,760m.
Topographical variations in this region give rise to a wide range
of climatic conditions, with fertile highland plateaus
interspersed with wadis. The population of Yemen is just over
sixteen million, and Arabic is the official language. English is
utilized in communication amongst business circles.
The history of
back over 3,000 years, and its unique culture is still evidence
today in the architecture of its towns and villages. From about
1,000 BV this region of the southern Arabian Peninsula was ruled
by three successive civilizations Minean, Sabaeen and Himyarite.
Many foreigners knew Yemen as the land of Sheeba. Those three
kingdoms all depended for their wealth on the spice trade, but by
the first century BC, had been conquered by the Romans.
Both Christianity and Judaism were introduced into Yemen by the
4th Century AD. However, Islam was introduced in the 5th Century
AD lasting up to now through the Ottomans rules that ended in
1636. Two hundred years after this in 1839, the British conquered
and it was then known as the Aden Proctorate. The British also
made a series of treaties with local tribal rulers, in a move to
colonize the entire area of Southern Yemen. In 1849, the Turks
returned to Yemen and their power extended throughout the whole of
that region not under the British rule.
This brings us up-to-date with the circumstances that
crated present day
of Yemen. Oil is vital to our development and our current
production is around 280,000 bbl/d provides the main source of
contains oil in place of 10.9 billion barrels and had produced 2.7
Billion barrals in 2011.
With natural gas reserves of 18.2 trillion cubic feet,
considerable potential as a natural gas producer and exporter. The
bulk of Yemen's gas reserves are concentrated in the Marib-Jawf
Yemen currently has a crude refining capacity of 120,000
bbl/d from two local refineries. The refinery in
Aden operated by
Aden Refinery Company with a capacity of 110,000 bbl/d, while the
other refinery at Marib operated by Yemen Refinery Company with a
capacity of 10,000 bbl/d. However,
of Oil and Minerals
is trying to upgrade the current capacity as well as to build new
refinery at, Hadhramot.
The licensing of exploration opportunities in Yemen is neither new
nor unfamiliar to us as we have long experience in Yemen in
promoting oil and gas.
As early as the 1920ís and 1930ís, the discovery of several oil
fields in the Arabian Peninsula and the gulf promoted oil
companies to expand their efforts to seek for new locations. Many
companies began to look to
as possible new source of oil.
The first search in Yemen took place in 1938 when the Iraq
Petroleum Company (IPC), at that time a British-owned company,
concluded geological surveys in Hadramout and Mahara. The IPC
collected seismic data, but no wells were drilled at that time.
for oil exploration took place between 1952 and 1954 by the German
Company, Prakla Deilmann, which conducted geological and
geophysical surveys near the Tihama plains in the Western part of
the country. The company also concluded a survey of the salif
region of Yemen, although no wells were drilled in either of these
sites. However, gravity and magnetic studies were conducted at
the early 1960ís until the mid 1980ís, several foreign oil
companies conducted similar studies to further identifyí possible
onshore and offshore oil exploration sites. These efforts led to
the first major oil discovery in the summer of 1984, when Hunt Oil
Company successfully drilled the wildcat well in the Marib Al-Jawf
basin (Block 18). After the unification in 1990, many foreign
oil companies have conducted exploration activities over an area
of 235.000 sq km both onshore and offshore and seismic surveys
over an area of 5 1,000 sq km. In adition. More than 103 exploration
wells were drilled during the early 1990ís, which led to
successful oil field discoveries, by Canadian Occidental over
Masila (Block 14).
By May 1990,
there were six foreign oil companies operating in Yemen. Following
the reunification of Yemen in 22 of May 1990, Yemen has become
more attractive to many international oil companies seeking access
to oil-rich concession areas, particularly in the eastern and
southeastern regions of the country. This ultimately led the MOM
to study and evaluate those areas more fully, and to divide them
into separate concessionaire blocks. The
MOM received more
than 86 proposals from different oil companies during the first
three years. After an extensive review of these offers, the
MOM. Signed about
88 PSAs (1990-2009).
MOM continued to give
more attention to exploration for additional reserves by offering
more attractive contract terms to international oil companies. As
a result 60 new PSAs have been signed and ratified during the
years 1997 until mid 2004 plus many MOUs with other companies.
MOM conferred the
International Oil Companies (1.O.C.s.) an opportunity to become a
significant producer of oil and gas for the worldwide market,
since most of Yemen yet to be explored and still much room for
Ahmed Abdullah Dares
Minister of Oil & Mineral