Their News [Archives:2008/1152/Local News]

May 5 2008

Yemen LNG Clarifies its Position on Preservation of Cultural Heritage

On Saturday morning, some media outlets carried an article about a French expatriate employee who was caught at Sana'a Airport while allegedly trying to smuggle antiquities. Whilst this act was related only to an individual's behaviour and decision, it provides Yemen LNG with an opportunity to confirm the Company's position towards the preservation of the cultural heritage of Yemen:

While investigations are still ongoing (from the side of the Authorities as well as from Yemen LNG), it can be confirmed that a French expatriate working with one of the Company's subcontractors was arrested by the authorities with items which are categorised as archaeological artefacts. The items were detected upon arrival in Sana'a Airport from Balhaf on the Company chartered flight)the local means of transportation from the field to Sana'a. Thanks to the controls which are already in place for such local means of transportation, such items were discovered and returned back to the authorities.

If it is confirmed that these pieces are genuine archaeological artefacts, this action is a violation of Yemeni law and is an act with which Yemen LNG and its subcontractors thoroughly disagree. This is such a rare occurrence compared to the scale of the Project which has involved over 22 million man hours so far. In response to this reprehensible act, the Company is increasing its security checks in Balhaf to complement the checks and controls taken by the authorities to detect such actions at an early stage. The Company will continue to stress to its contractors its unequivocal commitment to the preservation of cultural heritage)a clear evidence of which was the extensive archaeological studies and excavations whose discoveries and finds are currently being displayed at the National Museum in Sana'a.

Yemen LNG employs 4 full-time field-based archaeologists who are working to ensure that archaeological sites are protected, documented and preserved. A number of these discoveries have already been featured in a multi-sectoral cooperation between Yemen LNG, the Ministries of Oil and Minerals and Culture and the two specialised institutions, namely the German Archaeological Institute (DAI) and the French Centre for Social Studies and Archaeology (CEFAS).

Yemen LNG implements a zero tolerance policy with regards to such actions and continues to invest in the preservation of cultural heritage even beyond normal expectations.

TOTAL E&P offers scholarships for Yemeni youth

As part of its ongoing commitment to social and educational development programs in Yemen, Total E&P Yemen is proud to launch its 2008 undergraduate scholarships for Yemeni students across the country.

Undergraduate students wishing to apply for scholarships can find application forms online at Applications are also available at local universities and academic schools. The application deadline is May 31, 2008. The selected students will complete a Bachelor's Degree in Petroleum Engineering or Geosciences at the University of Leeds in Britain. Successful students will start their studies in September this year.

“One of TOTAL's core values is to contribute to the educational development in host countries. We believe strongly that the education of Yemeni students is an integral part of this country's development and we will pursue our constructive efforts in this field,” said Martin Deffontaines, General Manager of Total E&P Yemen.

For more information about this programme, please call Mr. Nageeb Ibrahim at 01-414-137.

Total E&P Yemen is the operator of Block 10, east of Shabwa and holds several other participations in oil exploration and production blocks. TOTAL is the major foreign investor in Yemen. Since 1997, the company has been producing from Block 10 and has celebrated early this year the production of 100 million barrels.

Global traffic continues to slow

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced global scheduled international traffic data for March. Compared to the same month in the previous year, passenger demand increased 5.8% with load factors at 77.7%. Freight traffic grew 3.2%.

March passenger growth is positively skewed by the Easter holiday period which was in April of the previous year. Adjusting for this distortion, real traffic growth in March was 4%. The slowdown in the demand growth continues the sharp downward trend which began in December 2007 as the impact of the US credit crunch began to be felt in the airline industry.

International passenger load factors were equally skewed. When adjusted to take into account artificially high utilisation over the Easter period, the March load factor was 76.1%. While still high, this is 1.7 percentage points lower than the 77.8% recorded for the same month in 2007. This fall indicated that the slowing of demand occurred faster than airlines could cut capacity.

International freight growth of 3.2% remains sluggish and well below the 4.3% growth recorded in 2007.

“Traffic only tells a part of the story. Astronomical oil prices are hitting hard. And the buffer of an expanding economy has disappeared. The fortunes of the industry have taken a major turn for the worse,” said Giovanni Bisignani, IATA's Director General and CEO.

Regional differences in passenger traffic growth are significant:

As North American carriers shift traffic from low-yielding domestic markets, their international traffic grew by 6.3% in March. The impact of high valued Euro saw U.S. carriers capitalise on the North Atlantic with a 10% growth in traffic while European carriers' operations in the same area contracted by 2%. Overall European carrier passenger traffic grew by 3.7%.

The slowdown in Asia-Pacific carrier traffic to 4.3% is significant in that the region's booming economies were expected to immunise them from the US slowdown.

African carrier traffic contracted 4.3% as a result of a failed expansion push into Middle East and Asia markets in the first part of the previous year.

Middle East carriers saw a double-digit increase of 15.4% reflecting the expanding economies in the region. But even this is a significant downward step from the 20.4% recorded in 2007.

Latin American carrier traffic continues to recover from the restructuring in 2007, boosted by strong demand for commodities produced in the region. The 19.7% growth experienced is well above the 0.5% recorded for the same time period last year.

“In the face of such dramatic shifts in the global economy, consolidation is critical. The proposed consolidation in the U.S. is good news. But it makes no sense that consolidation is limited to domestic partners. This is a global industry that needs to be run like a global business. The U.S.-EU Open Sky Agreement second stage talks that open in May must deliver a modern approach to ownership rules,” said Bisignani.

Canadian Nexen carries out projects worth nearly $ half million

Secretary General of Local Council here Saeed ba Yamin inspected on Thursday social development projects financed by Canadian Nexen Petroleum Yemen in areas of its works.

These projects that worth US$ 432 thousands are in field of education and health.

Then, bin Yamin chaired a meeting to officials of Ghail bin Yamin and Sah districts here and discussed with them needs of the two districts of development projects and projects financed by the company in these districts within its plan for supporting local societies for 2007.

The meeting approved list of suggested projects for 2008 included in social development projects financed by the company and oil ministry.