20 companies gain excavation contracts,Budgets Higher Committee forms team to check oil revenues accounts [Archives:2005/841/Business & Economy]

May 12 2005

Mahyoub Al-Kamaly
The Higher Committee of Budgets has set up a team for checking accounts of oil revenues. The higher committee presided by Prime minister, the chairman of the committee, Abdulqader Bajammal discussed the general framework and indicative ceilings of the state budget draft for the fiscal year 2006 presented by the ministry of finance. The meeting also discussed the proposed alternatives for the preparation of the draft, taking into consideration economic and financial variables at both local and external levels and orientations of comprehensive reform processes.

Setting up a team for auditing oil accounts has come after the announcement that 20 world oil companies have qualified in winning rights to concession and excavation of oil and gas in seven open sectors, namely (7,34, 37, 39, 55, 74, 75). Seven other companies have been excluded from competition for failing to meet conditions necessary for qualifications to operate oil sectors in Yemen.

Official oil sources said contracts went to those companies following a process of analysis and technical financial evaluation of the 27 competing companies. Evaluation and analysis of the companies' tenders were conducted by the tenders committee. According to the official oil sources. The companies that won the contracts were: the Korean KNOC, Russian consortium ZAAB, Kazakh MND, the U.S. OCCIDENTAL, the Malaysian PETRONAS, the Indian ONGC, Indian Oil Company Ltd., The Austrian OMV, The Chinese CNOOC, The Swedish ABPARESOURCES, The Australian OILSEARCH, The Indian RELIANCE, The Indian ESSAR, The Pakistani ZAVER PETROLEUM GULR Ltd. , The Moldovan GROUP OCACOM, The Omani PETROGAS, The Indian NIIPL The French TOTAL, The Canadian NEXEN and the Emirates Al-Thani Company for Investment.

Chairman of the Oil Exploration and Production Establishment Eng. Nabeel Saleh al-Qawsi mentioned that tenders committee was finalizing procedures of that international tender according to the current stage and within the program approved by the ministry of oil and minerals.

The committee would present information on sectors included in the tender, provided that final offers of qualified companies are to be received on the 2nd of July to be studied and analyzed by the specialized committee and then to be endorsed by the minister of oil and minerals.

After that, there would be an announcement on final results of evaluation and naming the winner companies on 23 July 2005.

The Yemeni government aspires for increasing its oil production to encounter the deficit in the state general budget. In this regard, the Higher Committee for Budgets has confirmed the necessity of containing the deficit and stopping it at an allowed limit at the final preparation of the general draft budget for the year 2006.

All this takes into account the economic and financial reform program, in affirmation of the process of full and comprehensive reform in all fields and with concentration on rural development projects and program that would contribute to absorption of unemployment and provision of more job opportunities especially for poor segments of the society.

The meeting has also approved the formation of a working team to examine and audit accounts of the oil revenues, whether those yielded by crude oil or refineries production and dependence of correct figures based on testimonies of experts and operators regarding estimation of reserves in the new oil fields.

The meeting stressed the necessity of activating the results reached within the framework of agreement on fighting of corruption in the draft state budget. The meeting considers that as important in the endeavour for alleviation of poverty and encountering of resources squander as corruption represents a tumbling stone before success of reforms and d3evelopment plans.

Announcement on those companies' qualification for working in oil area s coincides with the orientation of encouraging the private sector to practice investment activities in this field and other areas. Among the importance of such fields are the navigation activities.

The Yemeni government has directly worked for, as part of privatization efforts, attracting specialized world companies to pursue activities of marine transport and maintenance services. So far, there are more than 40 local and foreign companies working in areas of navigation agency functions, goods delivery and ship supplies.

The government continues at the same time, its efforts for the implementation of its decisions on attraction of local and external specialist parties in administration of marine transport activity, maintenance and repair of ships in participation with the state according to agreed upon formulas.

Operations of rehabilitation of existing ports and pursuing openness policies in marine transport sectors have led to an increase in growth of maritime trade movement. The number of ships frequenting ports had, in 2003, amounted to 3354 against about 1100 ships in 1995. In 2004, the total amount of dry goods delivered at ports reached 7.8 million tons compared to 4 million tons in 1990. Quantities of oil delivered at the ports in 2004 amounted to 19.5 million tons against 17 million tons in 1990. In the year 2004, the number of delivered containers increased from 28 thousand containers in 1990 to 420 thousands in 2004.