(MENAFN - Arab News) Saudi Arabia has promised to donate fuel to Yemen with a view to helping the neighboring country tide over severe economic crisis and rising fuel shortage.
The decision to help Yemen was first taken by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah after the formation of a unity government on Dec. 7.
"King Abdullah has given instructions to provide all the urgent needs of Yemen, especially petroleum products," Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal was quoted as saying in a phone call with Yemeni Prime Minister Mohammad Basindawa earlier this month.
According to Reuters, Saudi Aramco will buy oil products from the market but will ask the supplier to discharge the cargo in Yemen instead of in Saudi ports.
Quoting industry sources, the news agency claimed that the amount Yemen will receive from Saudi Arabia in January will be around 500,000 tons. "There is a government to government agreement between Yemen and Saudi Arabia where Aramco is buying the gasoline and gasoil and paying for it," said Reuters quoting one of the sources familiar with the deal.
Saudi government officials and Saudi Aramco spokespeople were unreachable on Thursday to confirm the deal.
Yemen relied on 3 million barrels of Saudi-donated crude oil to run its refinery in June, when its main pipeline was shut after anti-government blasts, unleashing a fuel shortage that saw people getting killed at dry petrol stations.
The pipeline, which was repaired during summer, is shut once again, after consecutive blasts on it in October. The lack of crude flow in the pipeline has also forced the Aden refinery, which mainly produces to meet the domestic fuel demand, to halt operations.