ENERGY BRIEFS

ENERGY BRIEFS

YEMEN TO PICK PARTNER

FOR GAS-EXPORT PLAN

NICOSIA, Cyprus - Yemen is close to choosing a foreign partner to launch a major gas export program aiming to sell around

5.5 million metric tons of liquefied gas a year, an oil industry newsletter reported Monday.

The Middle East Economic Survey said in a report from Sana that Yemen's Supreme Petroleum Council is expected to select a company this week. The oil ministry will sign a formal deal with the chosen company by the end of the year, the influential newsletter said.

It named two potential partners for the gas exports, the U.S. consortium of Hunt Oil and Exxon Corp., and the Enron Corp., as companies that made bids for the export projects.

Saleh Abu Bakr Hussainoun, oil minister, said in August that investments in developing the country's natural gas reserves could reach $5 billion, but he gave no time scale.

Yemen, a modest oil producer aiming for 300,000 barrels a day in output by the end of the year, is looking to capitalize on its estimated gas reserves of around 15 trillion cubic feet.

UNION TEXAS, YPF PLAN

TO EXPLORE OFF ARGENTINA

HOUSTON - Union Texas (Argentina) Ltd., a subsidiary of Union Texas Petroleum Holdings Inc., said it has signed an agreement with YPF Sociedad Anonima (YPF), the former Argentine national oil company, to join Union Texas in an exploration venture offshore Argentina.

Union Texas is operator of the

4.4 million-acre Cuenca Colorado Marina-1 block, situated about 155 miles offshore in the south Atlantic Ocean approximately 310 miles south of Buenos Aires.

Union Texas has a 50 percent interest in the block, with YPF holding a 35 percent interest. The remaining 15 percent is held by Perez Companc, a large Argentine company with diversified interests.