Fire breaks out in Yemen oil field, no casualties

March 23rd, 2009 - 3:48 am ICT by IANS  

Sanaa, March 23 (DPA) A major fire broke out in an oil field operated by the French oil firm Total in southeastern Yemen Sunday, but no casualties or production losses were reported, witnesses said.
“A massive fire engulfed the chemical storage section in block 14,” one witness told DPA. He said the fire caused explosions.

Block 14 is located in Massila of the Hadhramaut province, some 900 km southeast of the capital Sanaa. It produces 60,000 barrels of crude oil per day.

It was not immediately clear what caused the fire.

The fire destroyed the structure of the storage facility, an oil engineer told DPA in a telephone call from the scene.

“Production was not affected because the fire was away from the production unit,” the engineer, who asked for anonymity, said.

He said fire engines from neighbouring fields helped civil defence firefighters to douse the blaze that raged for nearly three hours.

Yemen is a small non-OPEC oil producer that pumps around 330,000 barrels of oil per day.

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