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Tue 1 May 2007 12:00 AM

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Abu Dhabi plant on track despite feud

Abu Dhabi's International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) has said it will proceed with plans to build a new oil refinery in the UAE, despite reservations from its partner ConocoPhillips.

Abu Dhabi's International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) has said it will proceed with plans to build a new oil refinery in the UAE, despite reservations from its partner ConocoPhillips.

"This project will be going ahead. It will be implemented by IPIC," said the company.

Conoco chief executive James Mulva said construction has been delayed and claims rising costs could result in his company withdrawing from the project.

IPIC is holding talks with other potential international partners for the project. "We would be looking for a technical partner that can help with project implementation and later with operations and marketing," said the firm. "There are many players offering us that."

IPIC is yet to disclose whether the refinery's original proposed capacity of 500 000 barrels per day (bpd) will change without Conoco's involvement. IPIC is considering various options for the size and feedstocks for the plant.

In addition to plans for the new refinery, to be built at Fujairah, IPIC has plans to build a strategic pipeline to transport oil from Habshan in Abu Dhabi to the port.

Fujairah provides a key bunkering hub for oil tankers operating in the Strait of Hormuz, and the port would benefit from a local refinery for sourcing various products.

IPIC has awarded the project management services contract for the pipeline to the German company ILF Consulting Engineers. Construction will begin in 2008.

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