Nexen Jarred By Nearby Explosion In Yemen

An explosion overnight near the headquarters of Canadian oil company Nexen jarred the Yemeni capital. While no casualties were reported by security officials, Nexen spokesperson Carla Yuill told Rigzone the company has moved employees out of Sanaa into a safer region.

Yuill said that appropriate security measures are being taken to esnure the safety of Nexen employees, but she could not comment on whether a "full evacuation" had been ordered.

On April 8, the U.S. embassy in Yemen called for an evacuation of all non-essential personnel from the embassy.

There has been no claim of responsibility for the rocket attack, nor has there been a report indicating whether Nexen was the intended target of the attack.

The rocket attack comes days after three rockets targeting oil workers slammed into a housing area where Safer Oil company workers lived. Al Qaeda claimed responsibility for the attacks on the workers. No casualties were reported in that attack either.

In September 2006, Al Qaeda attempted to carry out an attack on a Nexen refinery and oil storage tanks in the southeastern Hadramut province. That attack was unsuccessful.

Yemen, the ancestral homeland of Al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden, is "highly dependant on oil production," according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). The non-OPEC oil producer has proven oil reserves of 3 billion barrels.

In 2007, Nexen produced 71,600 bbl/d before royalties in Yemen. This amount represents 28% of Nexen's total production.

EIA's official statement on regional stability is that "security remains a concern for foreign investment."

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