Sanaa and Tehran Seek to Expand Energy Cooperation

Sheba Intelligence | 2024-05-12 11:29 AM UTC


Iran and the Ansar Allah (Houthi) group plan to increase their cooperation in the energy field and use the experience of Iranian oil companies in Yemen.

 Ibrahim Al-Dailami, the Houthi ambassador to Tehran, met Ahmad Asadzadeh, the Iranian deputy oil minister for international affairs and trade, on Friday and discussed enhancing the cooperation between "Iran and Yemen" in the energy field, including the exchange of scientific and technical oil data.

Asadzadeh said: "In recent years, talks have been held between the two countries in the oil industry, and we will share all our experiences with [Yemen]." He hoped such cooperation and consultation would lead to a robust oil industry in Yemen.

While the Houthis do not control any oil-rich areas in Yemen, they seek to take over oil and gas areas in Marib and Shabwah, which are under the control of the Yemeni government and allied forces.

In early April, informed sources told Sheba Intelligence that Russia, Iran, and Oman seek to invest in Yemen's oil and gas, and this might encourage the Houthi group to accelerate a military operation to control Safer in Marib, Balhaf in Shabwah and all oil and gas pipelines located between them.

According to the sources, there is an unannounced Russian-Iranian agreement to invest in Yemen's oil and gas with the help of the Sanaa-based government. The project seeks to extend oil pipelines from Yemen to Oman, which will be linked to the Omani-Iranian project.

In May 2021, the Omani Minister of Oil and Gas, Mohammed Al Rumhi, said that his country wants to revive its plans to import Iranian gas by extending gas pipelines from Iran to it and expanding this pipeline network to Yemen.

Fighting over the gas and oil fields in Yemen has cost the country billions of dollars in the past years of war. Yemen's internationally-recognized government said last year the Houthi attacks on crucial oil facilities cost Yemen nearly 1.5 billion U.S. dollars since August 2022.

The Houthis today present themselves as the "legitimate" authority in Yemen, and they seek to control the oil and gas resources to strengthen their economy and weaken their rivals.

According to political observers in Yemen, the Houthi group may resume the war to control oil and gas in Marib and Shabwah or at least one of them. The observers said that without controlling oil fields, the group feels it has not won the war so far.