DNO resumes production at strike-hit Yemen blocks

The company said that it had suspended production at the two blocks following “unilateral actions” taken by labour unions on June 22 that led to work stoppages.

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The Norwegian oil and gas operator DNO has resumed oil production at two of its blocks in the Hadramout region of Yemen, nearly two weeks after halting production following blockades by local labour unions.

DNO, in which RAK Petroleum owns a 42.8 per cent stake, yesterday announced the resumption of oil production from Block 32 Howarime and Block 43 South Howarime.

Production from the two blocks averaged 1,600 barrels of oil per day before suspension.

The company said that it had suspended production at the two blocks following “unilateral actions” taken by labour unions on June 22 that led to work stoppages, and had issued force majeure notices to Yemen’s ministry of oil and minerals.

“Access to and conduct of operations on these blocks have been restricted since late last year as a result of blockades by local groups restricting movement of equipment, supplies and contractors,” the company said last month.

About 80 local DNO workers went on strike last month demanding an increase in monthly salaries and full medical insurance for their families, according to local press reports.

DNO has six blocks in Yemen, three of which (including Blocks 32 and 43) are in the production phase, with the remaining three being explored and developed.

The labour union action is the latest in a series of events that have affected DNO’s operations in Yemen.

In January tribesmen in the Hadramout region killed at least six soldiers, and warned the Norwegian company to stop operating in the region.

DNO invoked force majeure for its Block 47 South Hood last September. The company is planning to commence production from one of the wells in the block later this year.

jeverington@thenational.ae

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