Oil in Yemen to run out in 12 years
The report issued in Sana’a showed that oil forms one third of the national production, three quarters of the government’s income and 90 percent of the exports.
The income to Yemen from crude oil decreased last January due to acts of sabotage against the oil pipelines in Marib governorate. The local shortage of oil forced the government to bridge the gap through imports from overseas.
The Yemeni Central Bank released a special report that said the imports were being paid for by selling oil products through the Aden refineries.
In ‘Yemen Scenarios 2020’, a repot issued by the Political Development Forum and the Friedrish Ebert German Organization, Yemeni experts warned the government not to continue its dependence on oil as a major source of income to supply development projects in Yemen. They said that oil revenues form approximately 75 percent of the revenues for the budget, but the pumping of oil has reduced to 5 percent according to official information.
Ali Alwafi, a Yemeni expert, urged the government to shift its focus away from oil exports and to improve other non-oil sectors. He said that oil makes up 92% of Yemen's exports, and as the oil runs out, so will the revenue from these exports.
Meanwhile, other experts view the efforts of the government to encourage non-oil exports as unclear. The decrease in oil production has set off alarm bells, especially now an international report has said that the oil will run out in 2025.
The Yemeni government gets about 70 percent of the budget from production sharing agreements with the foreign companies, about 63 percent of the total exports and 30 percent of national production.
The report also said that because of the ongoing internal conflicts which started in May last year, 144,000 people in the middle and south of Yemen are homeless.
The report from the World Bank stated that more than 47 percent of the population is surviving on less than two dollars a day. Poverty levels are estimated to have increased by ten percent as a result of the global food and energy crises. Poverty has reached almost 50 percent in rural areas and over 31 percent in urban areas.
The report pointed out that the percentage of the population who can find safe drinking water does not exceed 36 percent, and that 46 percent of children under the age of five are under normal weight due to malnutrition.
Further, aquifers in major urban centers, such as the capital Sana’a, are in danger of being depleted within the next 20 years.
The population is growing at three percent per year, compared with a regional average of 1.7 percent. At the current growth rate, the population is expected to grow from 22 million to 50 million by 2035.
The report stated that nearly 50 percent of the population is under the age of fifteen and there are high rates of unemployment among the young. Women make up only 0.6 percent of the work force, and males achieve 5.9 years of education on average, while females achieve only 1.3 years on average.