Oil Sector S2 in Shabwa (local media)

Shabwa: Why Does the Austrian Oil Company «OMV» Intend to Give Up Sector «S2»?


Tue, 07-06-2022 03:46 PM, Aden

Shabwa (South24) 

A governmental source in Shabwa revealed the involvement of a foreign oil company in corruption and environmental pollution cases in the governorate through the collusion of the Yemeni Ministry of Oil and Minerals.

According to Mohammed Salem Majour, Director of the General Environment Protection Authority, the Austrian oil company, "OMV", committed environmental crimes and human rights violations in Shabwa. 

According to the official, the company intends to evade its responsibilities by selling its share in one oil sector. 

On Friday, Saba News Agency published a report about the Oil Ministry's establishment of a team to study the Austrian company's decision to give up its privilege granted to it in Sector S2 in Shabwa.


A series of tweets published by Majour on his Twitter account said that the Austrian company's task is to process the oil-associated water estimated to be 7000 barrels. This is carried by putting oil on "tarpaulins" to separate it from water and leaving the latter to be evaporated. This leads to polluting the air which seeps into water resources.

Majour published a photo for an oil-associated water station. It is supposed to process amounts of water separated from oil before re-inject them in the oil reservoir in light of the oil industry's international standards. However, according to him, the company does not work in that way and uses it only as "decor".

The official indicated that the company's method of extracting oil and putting it on "tarpaulins" to separate it from the water through a subcontractor violates the international standards as well as the policy and the systems of the Austrian company itself. 

Moreover, Majour accused the company of destroying oil reservoirs due to not re-injecting water and gas. He gave evidence for that by mentioning the "sharp decline" of the company's oil production which reached the level of 4000 barrels only. He published pictures for places in which "the most dangerous" waste that contains highly-concentrated poisons is being gathered. 

The Ministry of Oil and Minerals

Majour accused the Ministry of Oil and Minerals of remaining silent towards the Austrian company's use of chemicals (paraffin, dimes fire) to separate oil from water before getting rid of these substances by burning them in the air. He described such acts as being "blatant crimes".

Furthermore, Majour published a note issued by the Environment Protection Authority in Shabwa. It demanded the Austrian company to study the environmental impact to determine the harms associated with oil extraction operations along with obligations and compensations. 

According to him, the authority received a message from the company in response to the note in which it evaded responsibility. It referred them to the Ministry of Oil and Minerals, accused by him of covering up the company's acts.

In addition to the covering-up accusations, Majour accused the Ministry of Oil and Minerals of irresponsibility and giving a free rein to the corrupted company' administration. The official talked about the ministry’s dependence on another oil company for oil transportation because the Austrian company has not completed the pipeline since 2009. 

Additionally, the governmental official talked about the ministry's allegations of taking measures to benefit from the gas accompanied with oil extraction in generating electricity. He described this as being an attempt to falsify awareness and save face. 

In its report, Saba News Agency said that the Ministry "established a legal, technical and financial team, backed by a number of law figures and international advisors, to study the OMV's decision to give up its granted Concession in Sector S2.

A source within the ministry told the Saba that "the team discussed the oil company's procedure and how it aligns with laws, regulating agreements, terms and conditions included in the Production Sharing Agreement in a way that saves the Ministry’s rights and interests and to take the legal and technical measures towards this".

Saba said that the Ministry of Oil and Minerals as well as the Yemeni General Corporation for Oil and Gas sent two notes to OMV in response to the latter's procedures. They asked the company to give the necessary explanations to the team commissioned by the Ministry to study the company's move legally, technically and financially."

The ministerial sources added that the "ministry is in talks with OMV to discourage it from withdrawing from Sector "S2" in Shabwa after the Austrian company's decision to sell its share. The Ministry examines all choices and alternatives if OMV insists on withdrawing and selling its share". This raises a question about the reasons behind this".

The source denounced "dealing with sovereign topics as a tool to target the country's interests by some media platforms which carry out counterproductive agendas against efforts made by political leaders and the government for the sake of the nation. 

"South24" has not been able to confirm the authenticity of the accusations claimed by Mohammed Salem Majour or included in Saba’s report.

South24 Center for News and Studies

South YemenShabwaOil sector