Expert questions international reports on Yemen’s oil production

May 29, 2005 02:00 AM

A Yemeni economic expert has expressed doubt over the credibility of figures issued by recent international reports on the future of oil production in Yemen.
Reports have predicted that oil production will decrease by up to half by 2016, draining 85 % of oil revenues from the economy by the same time. One report stated that oil production would reduce rapidly from 400,000 bpd to 25,000. The report also said that the rate of debt to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) would rise from 125 % to 214 % by 2016.

The statistics have been questioned by Dr Abdul-Aziz Al-Torb, who wondered why, if they are true, has oil investment, seen in the Hadhramaut refinery project for example, recently increased.
"The policy of the oil sector is unreasonable and unclear and there is mismanagement in this key sector," he said. He called on the government to review the figures claiming they lack precision, and warned of the danger of issuing reforms on the bases of the reports in this, as well as other, sectors of the national economy.

He said that the coming period would see a rise in the interest of large energy consuming countries, particularly the US and China, pointing out the US's accusing China of raising oil prices in the world markets. If Yemen manages to determine its own priorities by drawing up a clear strategy, it will avert the danger and oil reserves will remain stable.
"We have to learn from the mistakes in our policies, especially in utilizing gas wealth," he said. He also called on the government to promote investments in other sectors such as tourism, industry and agriculture, as they would clearly benefit the national economy.

Source: Yemen Observer
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