Alwaght- Despite the fact that the Saudi-led coalition insists that the real reason Saudi Arabia and its allies invaded Yemen were mainly the geopolitical and security threats, after eight years, new aspects of the war have been revealed and show plundering the nation's oil and gas resources is the core reason behind the campaign and there has been a scheme between the Arab coalition and the Western countries to this end.
For the first time, Almasirha news network published details of the looting of Yemen's resources by European companies. According to a research, the French company Total, before the start of the Yemeni revolution in 2011, burned about 9. 7 billion cubic meters of gas in sector 10 of Hadhrahmaut province and at the same time, the Austrian company OMV burned 5.5 billion cubic meters of gas in sector S2. Investigations indicate that the amount of gas burning in these two sectors is 110 million cubic feet per day, which is enough to produce 341 megawatts of power per day.
Abdul Latif al-Dhafari, deputy director of the Yemen Oil Exploration and Production Company, told Almasirah "there was a possibility of re-injecting gas to raise the level of oil production to increase the rate of electricity production. The reliance on foreign operators in the 10 and S2 sectors prevented large amounts of gas from being used since the start of production.”
This Yemeni official said in the production sharing contracts in sectors 10 and S2, it was stipulated that gas should not be burned, but Total and OMV constantly flouted these terms and burned these resources instead of recycling them. Oil was discovered in sections 10 and S2 at the same time as gas, but facilities were not allocated for gas extraction, and this was the reason for gas burning.
Hassan Al-Zaidi, the former spokesman of the oil ministry, explained that the losses of the gas flare are multiple and are not only limited to the economy, but also include environmental and health effects.
The disclosure of these documents shows that the European oil companies have been eyeing the energy resources of this poor country since the past and tried to loot these resources and not allow the Yemenis to benefit from their energy reserves. These burned resources could produce 125,000 megawatts of electricity annually for Yemenis to solve part of their problems and daily needs, but the the Western companies refused to facilitate this benefit. Although Yemen's oil and gas production is not high, before the war in 2014, about 90 percent of the country's income was provided by the oil and gas sale revenues.
Total, leading the plunderers of Yemen resources
Total, which had signed contracts with Yemen before the war, found the Arab invasion a good opportunity to loot Yemeni resources without any payments to government. In 2015, Mohammed Abdelrahman Sharafuddin, an economic expert, claimed that the French company stole oil from a field in Kharkhir region in Al-Mahra province near the border with Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia and the resigned President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi were involved in the theft, resources said. In 2014 and months before the war, Christophe de Margerie, then Total CEO, visited Yemen and met with Mansour Hadi to discuss expansion of the company's operations in Yemen. Margerie said that the relationship with Yemen was “prudent” and Total was expanding and developing its oil blocks in this country.
On the the other hand, Abdulaziz bin Habtour, the prime minister of the Sana'a-based National Salvation Government (NSG), in a last week speech said that mercenaries of the Saudi coalition plundered more than $14 billion worth of Yemen's oil and gas revenues and deposited them in the Saudi National Bank. This amount can solve a large part of Yemeni people's problems in the current conditions, he further said, adding: “But the Saudis do not allow it to happen. In addition to killing hundreds of thousands of Yemenis and displacing millions, they plunder Yemen's resources. Their crimes are not limited to this. Even by sea blockade, they disallow Ansarullah to import the desperately needed fuel.”
Recently, Ansarullah, a leading movement in the Yemeni resistance to the Saudi-Emirati invasion, warned that a delegation of American military forces entered Hadhramout, aiming to establish a base to plunder the province's oil. After the American entry to Hadhramout, troops from France also entered Shabwa province to help transfer Yemen's important resources to European markets with the direct support of the aggression coalition.
Media sources reported that on November 18, a French military delegation, accompanying Total delegation, met with the UAE-appointed governor of Ataq city Awad bin al-Wazir al-Awlaqi. The resources further said that the two sides, in the presence of Emirati military officers, discussed oil production at Belhaf gas facilities by Total and the UAE forces. Total is reported to have plans to invest $5 billion in the facility.
As the evidence shows, the West was eyeing Yemen's oil and gas resources from the past, and after the start of the Ukraine war, which led to the energy crisis in the West, the Western countries focused on these resources to solve their problems using Yemen instabilities.
Docking of oil tankers belonging to the aggression coalition in Yemen's southern ports to steal oil has taken a growing trend in recent months, indicating that the energy issue has been prioritized more than ever.
Washington and the European capitals are finding interests in Yemen's energy as Russian energy supplies are halted because of their sanctions on Moscow. Since Saudi Arabia and the UAE cannon produce gas independently, they are relying on Western companies, led by Total, to plunder Yemeni energy reserves quietly.
It was clear from the beginning of the war that the main goal of these attacks is to control the oil and gas reserves of this country, and the occupation of the southern regions, which host the oil and gas, shows this fact. The southern regions are under the control of Saudi and Emirati mercenaries and are administered directly by the Presidential Council, but despite the declaration of solidarity by the political leaders of this region with the aggressors, the government does not even provide the energy needs of southern people, and they, like other Yemenis, live in the worst conditions, and all the oil and gas is stolen by Saudi Arabia, the UAE and their Western partners.
Hadhrahmaut, Shabwa, and Socotra Island are oil and gas-rich and the Arab coalition's mercenaries several times clashes for large share from these resources.
Declaration of war on tankers: Ansarullah's finger on trigger
The looting of Yemeni gas and oil by the Arab coalition and its Western partners comes while Ansarullah is watching closely all of its movements and has already built capabilities that can block the energy plundering.
Ansarullah has repeatedly warned that if the aggressors do not leave Yemen's oil and gas fields, it will take back the nation's resources from them forcefully, and in order to show how serious it is, it targeted coalition-affiliated oil tankers twice in the last month at the Al-Dhaba port in Hadramaut. Before its operations, Ansarullah was issuing warnings, but now it says it would not issue any warnings and immediately attack the tankers.
The resistance movement also issued warnings to foreign companies operating in Saudi Arabia and the UAE to leave the countries as soon as possible to survive the upcoming attacks. Given these capabilities, Western companies would have a difficult job plundering Yemeni hydrocarbons, and not only they would not send them out for consumption but also would sustain costs with their tankers under attacks.