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Mon 8 Sep 2008 12:56 PM

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Oman gas supply set to start after delays

Dolphin Energy finally names date for start of natural gas supply after technical hitches hit project.

Abu Dhabi-based Dolphin Energy will begin supplying 200 million cubic feet per day of natural gas from October, months after the planned start, due to technical snags, the head of Oman Gas Co said on Monday.

"Oman and our UAE counterparts are in final preparations to start gas supply in October this year. The delay was for technical reasons," Oman Gas Chief Executive Yusuf al-Ojaili told Reuters.

In April, Ojaili said that the Dolphin gas supply to Oman would begin in June to meet Oman's growing demand for fuel. Officials then said in May that operations would be delayed until August or September.

Oman, whose $40.3 billion economy grew 7.2 percent in real terms in 2006, is struggling to meet both domestic demand and its gas export commitments.

The Dolphin project linking Qatar's giant North Field with the United Arab Emirates and Oman was the first cross-border gas project in the world's biggest oil-exporting region.

The $4.8 billion Dolphin project began importing gas it produced from its own wells at Qatar's North Field last July.

Mubadala Development Co, run by the government of Abu Dhabi, owns 51 percent of Dolphin while France's Total and U.S. Occidental each have a 24.5 percent stake.

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