UAE. The first cargo of Abu Dhabi crude oil to be exported directly from the port of Fujairah, bypassing the Strait of Hormuz, will load in January 2011, project director for the Abu Dhabi Crude Oil Pipeline Project, Dieter Blauberg, said recently.
The pipeline, originating in Habshan in the UAE Emirate of Abu Dhabi, is designed to carry 1.5 million bpd of crude oil to Fujairah, another of the seven Emirates.
"The first tanker will load in January 2011," Blauberg told the Middle East Oil and Gas Pipelines Conference in Abu Dhabi. The project is due to be completed in August 2011.
Blauberg said the project, which was launched by the Abu Dhabi government's International Petroleum Investment Co (IPIC), is designed to offset reliance on oil terminals in the Persian Gulf, he said.
It will also help to reduce congestion through the Strait of Hormuz, Blauberg said, adding that Fujairah offered an advantage in that it could accommodate larger vessels. The new export route would also result in lower insurance costs, he said.
The pipeline project has strategic value in that it would allow OPEC member the UAE to bypass the Strait of Hormuz and ship 60% of its crude oil directly through the Arabian Sea.
The 404 kilometre pipeline would allow Abu Dhabi "to develop a reliable export capacity on the eastern seabord of the UAE, which can accommodate larger vessels due to the relatively deep waters off Fujairah," Blauberg said.