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Mon 26 Jan 2009 09:49 PM

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Qatar gas exports to UAE to be halved says Dolphin

Gas exports from Qatar to UAE will be halved for a period of 3 to 4 weeks due to maintenance.

Maintenance will halve gas exports from Qatar to the United Arab Emirates for three to four weeks, the UAE's Dolphin Energy said in a statement on Monday.Dolphin pumps around 2 billion cubic feet per day (cfd) to the UAE through a pipeline from Qatar, meeting around a third of the UAE's gas demand.

Dolphin will gradually reduce the flow to 1 billion cfd as the work takes place, the company said. The maintenance began on Monday, Dolphin said.

The reduction in supply was more than the 600 million cfd recently estimated by a Dolphin official.

The northern emirates of the seven-member UAE will burn diesel and fuel oil for power generation during the maintenance, an official from UAE fuel retailer Emarat said on Sunday. Dolphin first announced the work in a statement over a year ago.

The UAE is the world's fifth-largest oil exporter but has failed to develop its gas resources quickly enough to meet rapidly rising demand from power generation plants and heavy industry.

The $4.8 billion Dolphin project linking Qatar's giant North Field to the UAE and Oman was the first cross-border gas project in the Gulf Arab region.

It started pumping gas produced from its own wells in Qatar through a 364 kilometre (226.2 mile) pipeline linking Qatar to the UAE in July 2007. Dolphin began supplying Oman in November.

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

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