Font Size

- Aa +

Tue 30 Oct 2007 10:35 AM

Font Size

- Aa +

Dolphin to double UAE imports

Energy firm plans to pump two billion cfd of natural gas into the UAE by February, vice president says.

Dolphin Energy expects imports of Qatar gas to the UAE to hit two billion cubic feet per day (cfd) in February, double the current flow, a company executive said on Monday.

The Dolphin project linking Qatar's giant North Field with the UAE and Oman is the first cross-border gas project in the Gulf Arab region.

"We should reach two billion cfd by mid or end-February," Dolphin Vice President for Projects Philippe Persillon told reporters at a gas conference.

Four gas processing trains at Dolphin's plant in Ras Laffan in Qatar each has capacity of 500 million cfd. Two of those trains were already running. The third would start up at the end of December and the fourth at the end of January, Persillion said.

The Dolphin imports into the UAE, where demand is rising rapidly as the economy expands, will boost gas supplies in the UAE to around five billion cfd from around three billion cfd last year.

Mubadala Development, run by the government of the UAE's Abu Dhabi, owns 51% of Dolphin while France's Total and US Occidental each have a 24.5% stake.

The 364 kilometre pipeline for the gas exports to the UAE was completed last year.

Dolphin began using it in March to bring 400 million (cfd) of gas processed by state-owned Qatar Petroleum to the emirate of Dubai. Dubai will be taking between 600 million and 800 million cfd once full exports begin.

Dolphin produced first gas from its own facilities at Qatar's giant North Field in June. The company has contracts to supply the Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (ADWEA), the Union Water and Electricity Authority, Dubai Supply Authority and from 2008 the Oman Oil Company.

Dolphin is in talks with Qatar to increase the flow of gas to the pipeline's maximum capacity of 3.5 billion cfd. But Qatar has called a moratorium on new projects from the North Field, as it studies the effect of rapid development on the largest reservoir of pure gas in the world.

Qatar has become the world's largest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG), gas chilled to liquid for export on tankers.

The Dolphin project's link between Oman and the UAE saw its first flow of gas in 2004. The direction of the UAE-Oman pipeline will be reversed next year, when Oman will begin receiving gas from Qatar via the UAE to feed its rising demand.

The UAE sits on the world's fifth-largest gas reserves but has not developed them quickly enough to meet rising gas demand as its economy expands. Record oil revenues have fuelled the growth.

For all the latest energy and oil news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.