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Yemen Houthis give foreign oil companies ultimatum to stop oil extraction

October 3, 2022 at 11:37 am

An abandoned oil tanker, at risk of sinking due to poor maintenance, is anchored off Yemen’s southern port city of Aden on July 21, 2021 [SALEH OBAIDI/AFP via Getty Images]

Yemen’s Houthis on Saturday warned foreign oil companies working in areas controlled by the internationally recognised government to cease operating or risk coming under attack.

The Houthi-affiliated Al-Masirah TV reported that the head of the group’s Supreme Council, Mahdi Al-Mashat, issued instructions to prepare official communications to all foreign companies and entities involved in “looting Yemen’s sovereign wealth” to immediately cease their activities.

The Houthi Economic Committee said that all foreign companies should permanently stop “the looting of Yemen’s sovereign wealth by as of 6pm on Sunday local time,” explaining that the instructions are based on the Yemeni constitution and international laws.

“We reserve our legal right to deal with the looting of the Yemeni wealth that took place before October 2, 2022,” it added.

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A number of foreign companies operate in the oil and gas sectors in the eastern governorates of Yemen, controlled by forces affiliated with the internationally recognised government.

For his part, the Minister of Oil and Minerals in the Houthi government, Ahmed Daris, renewed the group’s accusation that the Saudi-led coalition has been looting the country’s wealth, warning that the group’s warning should be taken “seriously”.

“As of Sunday, all foreign and local oil companies operating in the occupied areas must not extract even a barrel of oil for export,” he said.

The Houthis’ warning came as efforts to extend a six-month ceasefire between the Houthis and the Saudi-led military coalition failed.