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Mon 23 Apr 2007 03:03 PM

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Qatar-UAE gas pipeline ready by June

Dolphin Energy is on track for the commercial launch of its $3.5bn gas pipeline.

Natural gas producer Dolphin Energy is on track for the commercial launch of its $3.5 billion gas pipeline from Qatar to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the first week of June, its chief said in Singapore on Monday.

Dolphin Energy's Chief Executive Officer Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh said volume through the pipeline would reach 2 billion cubic feet per day by the end of the year and that the firm was still in talks with Qatar to raise the volume to the pipeline's designed capacity of 3.2 billion cubic feet per day.

"We are hoping to reach agreement with the Qataris for the extra quantity of gas. We have not yet reached an agreement. It will take a long time because these are huge infrastructure projects," Ahmed told Reuters.

The pipeline is the first cross-border gas line in the Gulf Arab region and will help meet soaring energy demand in the UAE, which has witnessed a construction boom fuelled by record oil revenues. It had been expected to begin commercial operations mid-summer.

Ahmed declined to reveal the price it would charge for the gas but said it comprised of a "reasonable tariff" on top of the price Qatar was commanding for supplying the resource.

Abu Dhabi government-run Mubadala Development Co. owns 51% of Dolphin Energy while France's Total and Occidental Petroleum each have a 24.5% stake.

Ahmed, who is also chairman of Aldar Properties, was in Singapore for a property conference.

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