Abu Dhabi said to be planning Fujairah LNG terminal

Sources say terminal would avoid need for vessels to pass through Strait of Hormuz
Abu Dhabi said to be planning Fujairah LNG terminal
By Bloomberg
Mon 19 Mar 2012 07:46 PM

Abu Dhabi plans to build a
terminal for importing liquefied natural gas at a port that would avoid
the need for vessels to pass through the Strait of Hormuz, four people
with knowledge of the situation said.

Mubadala
Development Co and International Petroleum Investment Co, both funds
run by the government of Abu Dhabi, will set up the plant in Fujairah,
another of the UAE's seven sheikhdoms, said the people,
who declined to be identified because the project hasn’t been announced
publicly.

Mubadala didn’t respond today to messages left on the mobile
phones of two press officials. IPIC didn’t respond to an e-mailed
request for comment.

The offshore
LNG terminal, which is designed to float, would receive its first
imports in 2014, one of the people said. Chilled liquid fuel, once
turned back to gas, would then be sent to industrial sites in the
UAE, the people said.

Iran
threatened earlier this year to close the Strait, at the mouth of the
Gulf, in response to sanctions that the US and Europe are
imposing because of the Islamic republic’s nuclear programme. Fujairah’s
coastline is on the Gulf of Oman, which empties into the Indian Ocean.

Middle
Eastern oil producers such as Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest crude
exporter, and the UAE, the fifth- biggest oil producer in OPEC, want
additional gas supplies to make electricity and petrochemicals and as
fuel for energy-intensive industries such as smelters. Aside from Qatar
and Iran, these nations have limited gas reserves of their own.

The UAE,
holder of about 7 percent of global oil reserves, already imports gas
from Qatar through the Dolphin Gas pipeline, a venture with Total and
Occidental Petroleum Corp.

The pipeline operates at about two-thirds of
capacity because the UAE has been unable to buy additional fuel from
Qatar, which has committed its available supplies to other buyers.

LNG is gas
that’s chilled to liquid form so it can be shipped by tankers over
distances not served by pipelines. Upon arrival, the LNG is converted
back into gas for local distribution. The Strait of Hormuz is a maritime
chokepoint through which about one fifth of the world’s traded oil
passes.

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