Monday, May 28, 2012

UAE Oil Pipeline to Bypass Strait of Hormuz

A pipeline being built by the UAE to pump most of its oil exports from east coast terminals bypassing the Strait of Hormuz will be operational next month, His Highness Shaikh Hamad Bin Mohammad Al Sharqi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Fujairah, told AFP in an interview. 

Construction of the 360-km pipeline began in 2008.

The pipeline will have an initial capacity of 1.5 million barrels a day rising to 1.8 million barrels a day, which represents the bulk of the UAE's current production of around 2.5 million barrels a day, Shaikh Hamad said. 

The Habshan-Fujairah pipeline will carry oil from fields in Abu Dhabi to Fujairah.

Fears of a closure of the Strait of Hormuz intensified in recent months after Iran threatened to close the strategic outlet to the Gulf if Western governments kept up their efforts to choke off its oil exports in a bid to rein in its controversial nuclear programme. 

 In addition to the exports of the UAE and Iran itself, all the oil exports of Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar are shipped through the waterway. Iraq also pumps the bulk of its exports through ports on the Gulf. Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil exporter, pumps most of its crude from its terminals on the Gulf, but it can divert significant supplies to terminals on the Red Sea. 

 Shaikh Hamad, however, played down the possibility of a closure of Hormuz. "I do not believe there will be a war," he said, arguing that the tension with neighbouring Iran is just a "summer cloud that will clear."
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