UAE seeks Hormuz alternative for oil

July 8, 2008 at 1:30 PM
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ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, July 8 (UPI) -- Abu Dhabi expects construction on an interstate oil pipeline bypassing the Strait of Hormuz to be completed ahead of schedule, industry officials said.

Industry sources told the Emirates Business 24/7 news agency Tuesday construction on the 224-mile pipeline linking wells in the Habshan area of Abu Dhabi could be completed before the original 2010 deadline.

"The project is crucial for the continuation of Abu Dhabi's oil exports, in case of the closure of the Hormuz Strait, as the pipeline bypasses that strategic waterway and transports crude oil straight out of the (Persian) Gulf," the source said.

The United Arab Emirates and several oil-producing Gulf states have explored alternative routes to the volatile Strait of Hormuz, whose shipping lanes are impacted by the geopolitical climate.

The 48-inch-diameter pipeline will carry around 1.5 million barrels of crude per day from the Fujairah oil field to tankers in the Persian Gulf. That volume equates to roughly 60 percent of the total oil exports in Abu Dhabi, the news agency reported.

"Abu Dhabi cannot afford the interruption of its crude exports for a long time, as they constitute the lifeline of its economy," the source said.

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