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Wed 11 Jul 2007 11:22 AM

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Gas crosses borders in full flow

It's been years in the making, but the Dolphin Project is now fully operational.

The Dolphin Project, which sees natural gas from Qatar being delivered to customers in the United Arab Emirates, marks the start of the energy sharing the region needs.

Celebratory announcements were made on 10 July. One of the venture's partners, Occidental, described the future inclusion of Oman as a customer of the project as ‘resulting in a unique regional gas grid'.

There has been much talk of the benefits of a gas grid and discussions are ongoing across the Middle East. There's even talk of creating a regional gas market, which may eventually link the Mashreq countries, and other Middle East nations, with markets in Europe.

A network of pipelines would allow easier access to growing natural gas markets and also feed the region's burgeoning domestic use. Much of the gas is used in power generation and plans for a GCC power grid are also well advanced. If both a gas and power network come to fruition, the Gulf region and the wider Middle East will be in a stronger position to make the best use of its available resources.

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