The engineer, who had been working on a large gas pipeline project in the region for Amec Spie Hawk, was abducted along with two Yemeni colleagues by tribesmen who are demanding the release of an imprisoned clan member.
According to the German Foreign Ministry in Berlin, there are "serious indications" that a German oil expert has indeed been kidnapped. A spokesperson added that the ministry was in contact with officials in Yemen to work out the man's identity.
The abduction reportedly took place some 30 kilometres from port city Balhaf, the final destination of the 300-kilometre pipeline the German is said to have been working on.
In December 2008 tribesmen kidnapped a German family of three, also demanding that the government release an imprisoned clan member. The family was released after five days.
Tribes in Yemen have abducted more than 200 foreigners in the last 15 years, usually making demands of the government in return for the release of their captives.