YEMEN. The Central Bank of Yemen said oil revenues for the first seven months of 2009 fell to US$803.4 million from US$3.1 billion during the same period in 2008.
The Central Bank of Yemen blamed the decline in national oil revenue on the decrease in global oil prices. Oil prices soared above $140 per barrel in July 2008 before collapsing below US$40 as the economic recession took hold.
The bank report shows domestic consumption, meanwhile, increased during the reporting period to 15.6 million barrels per day, up from 13.2 million in 2008, the official Saba news agency reports.
Yemen had recorded steady losses in revenue from its energy sector, forcing the government to look to non-oil investments.
Yemen’s foreign reserves also fell by US$316 million to US$6.79 billion at the end of July down from US$7.1 billion in June, the bank said. The reserves reached a record high of US$8.47 billion in July 2008.
The U.S. Energy Information Agency shows similar trends in the overall Yemeni energy sector, with reserves declining at least since 2006.
Toward that end, the government plans to expand its capacity for liquefied natural gas with the aim of exporting its first gas shipments by the end of the year.
Oil export earnings account for 70% of budget revenue in Yemen, a non-OPEC oil producer that pumps around 270,000 barrels of crude per day.