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Yemen crude exports resume at a trickle from Ash Shihr Oil Terminal

Yemen crude exports resume at a trickle from Ash Shihr Oil Terminal
GAC Yemen is poised to receive a second tanker at Ash Shihr Oil Terminal but the resumption of crude exports from the Gulf of Aden port is understandably running at a trickle with no confirmed bookings beyond Saturday’s scheduled call.

Seatrade Maritime News has learned the VLCC Ataka will soak up the remainder of a 3m barrel sale of Masila Crude to global trading firm Glencore before setting sail eastbound, likely for Singapore.

The Suezmax carrier Seaprince, also owned by Glencore’s shipping arm ST Shipping, has already “safely sailed” after being loaded with a 130,000 tonne cargo of Masila on August 2. Seaprince is believed to be China bound.

Yemen’s oil ministry confirmed the 3m barrel sale to Glencore late last month, paving the way for the first commercial operation at the port since March 2015 due to the country’s bloody civil war.

The resumption of exports have been earmarked since April when some 2000 Yemeni and Emirati forces regained control of the country’s largest oil exporting terminal from Al Qaeda, a day after taking back the key southern stronghold of Al Mukalla, 68km east of Ash Shihr.

It is understood about 80% of Yemen’s modest oil reserves were shipped from Ash Shih in peacetime, with reports of 180,000 bpd in 2014. Output understandably stalled once a Saudi-led coalition began strikes against Houthi targets in March 2015.

GAC’s Yemen agency has confirmed other Yemeni ports are open and operational despite the on-going hostilities, the exceptions being Ras Isa Marine Terminal and Balhaf LNG terminal.