UAE. Abu Dhabi is exporting its first cargo of oil today from a pipeline that bypasses the Strait of Hormuz, shipping the crude to a refinery in Pakistan, the head of the emirate’s International Petroleum Investment Co. said.
The oil, pumped though a new link from Abu Dhabi to the port of Fujairah, will go to Pakistan Refinery Co., Khadem Al- Qubaisi, managing director of the state-owned investment fund known as IPIC, said in Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates. IPIC owns a stake in the Pakistani plant.
The pipeline provides buyers with an alternative location from which to receive crude and will cut down on shipping traffic in the Strait of Hormuz, Mohamed Bin Dhaen Al-Hamli, the U.A.E’s oil minister, said today at a ceremony in Fujairah to inaugurate the network. Al-Qubaisi of IPIC said the pipeline cost US$4.2 billion.
Abu Dhabi, the U.A.E.’s capital and holder of more than 90% of the nation’s oil, built the overland link as a way to export crude without having to send all of it through Hormuz at the mouth of the Persian Gulf.
Iran has threatened to block the strait, a chokepoint for tankers carrying a fifth of the world’s traded crude, amid tensions over sanctions against the country over its nuclear program. The U.A.E., the fifth-biggest oil producer in OPEC, pumped 2.61 million barrels a day in June, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
The pipeline can transport 1.5 million barrels a day of Abu Dhabi’s flagship Murban crude from Habshan, a collection point for the emirate’s onshore oil fields, across 230 miles (370 kilometers) of desert and mountains to Fujairah on the Gulf of Oman. The system is able to pump as much as 1.8 million barrels a day at periodic intervals, according to a presentation at the inauguration ceremony.