Abu Dhabi agrees to distribute Qatari gas from Dolphin project

Oct 27, 1999 02:00 AM

The emirate of Abu Dhabi has agreed to carry and distribute Qatari gas arriving through a regional pipeline set up by the multi-billion dollar Dolphin gas venture, a project official said. State-owned Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. (ADNOC) has agreed to carry the gas through its own network and supply power stations and desalination plants within the emirate, the official said.
The Dolphin project will also use ADNOC's pipeline network to take the gas to the neighbouring emirate of Dubai, until it is able to construct its own network, the official added. Abu Dhabi and Dubai are the two largest of the emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The multi-billion dollar Dolphin project aims to create a regional gas grid taking gas from Qatar to Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Oman and eventually Pakistan. In a project estimated at an overall cost of up to $ 10 bn, the gas is to be transported by undersea pipeline from Qatar to the Abu Dhabi coast.
The gas will be distributed inside Abu Dhabi and neighbouring Dubai through existing networks and will be transported between the two through a pipeline for which technical bids have already been submitted. The pipeline will then continue overland to Oman and from there to Pakistan through an undersea pipeline.
Industry sources say France's Elf Aquitaine and Mobil and Enron are "front runners" in talks to secure strategic partnerships in the Dolphin project to set up the grid. The strategic partnerships are expected to be announced by the end of the year, with work starting as early as the first half of this year and delivery of the first gas by 2003.

Mobil Oil Qatar in July signed a memorandum of understanding with UAE Offsets Group (UOG) as commercial partner in the project. UOG expects the memorandum to be firmed up into a long-term Supply and Purchase Agreement (SPA) by the end of the year. Mobil Oil Qatar and UOG "estimate that volumes will be in the range of 300 to 500 mm cfpd (9 to 15 mm cm) of gas," the Abu Dhabi-owned group said in July.

Qatar sits on the world's third largest proven gas reserves, after Russia and Iran, estimated at 8.5 t cm (297 tcf).

Source: AFP via Iinoil
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