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Oil and Gas Pipeline Watch

By DANIEL GRAEBER, UPI Correspondent   |   June 2, 2008 at 12:58 PM
Dana Gas completes common user gas pipeline

The private energy firm Dana Gas and the Emirates General Petroleum Corp. announced Monday the completion of a 1 billion cubic feet per day common user gas pipeline.

Dana Gas and a consortium of end-users from the United Arab Emirates signed a memorandum of understanding in January 2006 to begin work on the 20-mile pipeline in the emirate of Sharjah.

Dana Gas and the Emirates General Petroleum Corp., or Emarat, both hold a 50 percent stake in the project. Engineers completed the first phase of the pipeline in May 2006.

"This strategic partnership has set an example for further regional cooperation, and will elevate the level of service provided to the end users of this vital pipeline," said Dana Gas General Manager Rashid Al-Jarwan in a news release.

The pipeline connects the Sharjah gas hub in northeast United Arab Emirates to the Al Hamriya Port in the emirate of Dubai.

Acting Emarat General Manager Jamal Abdul Rahman al-Medfa said the project completion is in line with a series of accomplishments in the region, adding he was "delighted" with the joint effort "and the existing level of cooperation between the public and private sector" on the pipeline.


Turkey, EU sign agreement on Trans-Caspian gas pipeline

Officials from Turkey and the European Union signed a memorandum of understanding on a Trans-Caspian gas pipeline to bypass Russia.

EU Energy Commissioner spokesman Ferran Tarradellas Espuny said Andris Piebalgs, commissioner for energy at the European Commission, met with President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov of Turkmenistan to discuss bilateral cooperation on a new Central Asian gas pipeline.

"It is a first towards an energy dialogue, even an energy partnership in the future," Tarradellas Espuny told New Europe.


Hungary sidesteps Nabucco criticism

The Hungarian ambassador-at-large for the Nabucco pipeline dismissed allegations his country is holding the program back with its interest in an alternative project, South Stream.

The Hungarian Oil and Gas Public Ltd. Co., known by its Hungarian acronym MOL, is one of six companies engaged in the 2,050-mile Nabucco pipeline that will transport natural gas from Turkey to Austria via Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania.

Mihaly Bayer, the Hungarian official, sidestepped criticism that his country's support for the South Stream project -- which will transport Russian natural gas to Italy -- made Hungary the weak link in the Nabucco consortium.

"I was appointed in order to see what Hungary can do to accelerate the project," he told the Turkish Daily News Friday. "This shows the full support of the Hungarian government to Nabucco."

Bayer said embracing alternative projects addresses the broader goal of meeting the rising energy demand in Europe.

"Although progress has been slow, the Nabucco project has been the most advanced," Bayer said. "The South Stream project is just an agreement; there is no company, no route."

The $6 billion Nabucco project is slated for completion by 2012 at the earliest.


India, Pakistan warm to Chinese role in Peace Pipeline

Officials from India and Pakistan said their countries were interested in an increased role for China in the Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline.

Pakistani officials told the Fars News Agency that Iran and China have already discussed joining forces on the $7.2 billion project.

Likewise, Chinese officials said they were interested in exploring involvement in the project as a means to seek additional natural resources to meet growing demand.

"China is in urgent need of more energy. Of course, we will be interested," said He Yafei with the Chinese Foreign Affairs Ministry.

India expressed concern over the security issues involved in the project but continued to stress the overall value of the joint pipeline, called IPI, or the Peace Pipeline.

The 1,724-mile pipeline will deliver natural gas from Iran to Pakistan and India.

The United States, meanwhile, is backing an alternative pipeline, the TAPI pipeline, which joins Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India to discourage Central Asian countries from using Iranian resources.

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(e-mail: energy@upi.com)

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