Abu Dhabi oil pipeline nears test

June 22, 2012 at 7:41 AM

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, June 22 (UPI) -- Oil from a pipeline bypassing the Strait of Hormuz should be loaded for a first test cargo from the United Arab Emirates by July, an executive said.

Iran in February threatened to close shipping lanes through the Strait of Hormuz in retaliation for sanctions targeting its energy sector. The threat sparked a push to get around the waterway with conventional oil pipelines.

The 230-mile Abu Dhabi crude oil pipeline is designed to carry oil from the western deserts of the United Arab Emirates to the port of Fujairah. A source at the Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. told the Gulf Daily News that a test cargo would be loaded from the pipeline by July.

"Today oil has been received at the main oil terminal in Fujairah and 1 million barrels is coming in," the source said. "The plan is to load the first oil tanker around July 1."

The first cargo won't be exported, however.

Roughly 20 percent of the oil traded on global markets passed through the Strait of Hormuz last year.

The Abu Dhabi pipeline is designed for 1.5 million barrels per day.

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