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Abu Dhabi finishes oil pipeline

Exploration & Production

Abu Dhabi finished construction of a pipeline that runs across the emirate and will transport large quantities of crude from the countrys oilfields directly to the coast.

International Petroleum Investment Company (Ipic), Abu Dhabi government's overseas oil investment arm, launched the pipeline project two years ago and officials estimated its cost at around US$3.2 billion, one of the largest pipeline ventures in the Middle East.

Khadem Al Qubaisi, Managing Director of Ipic, said oil was used on a trial basis in December before the project is fully commissioned and will allow Abu Dhabi to bypass the Hormuz Strait through which nearly a fifth of the world's crude exports pass every day, reported Emirates 24/7.

All stages of the 48-inch diameter pipeline are now complete which involves a 370-km pipeline linking the Habshan area, which is the focal point of the emirate's onshore oil output with more than half of its total output, and will transport 1.5mn bpd of crude oil to the eastern coast of the UAE.

The pipeline is longer than the Dolphin subsea pipeline that transports natural gas from Qatar to the UAE and it runs across areas east of Abu Dhabi city through Suweihan and passes west of Al Ain.

The crude that will be transferred will be a Murban blend when it is commissioned in early 2011 The project comprises the pipeline, main oil terminal at Fujairah, offshore loading facilities and other associated facilities.

A strategic crude reservoir is being set up in Fujairah. From there, crude oil will be loaded aboard tankers anchored in safe waters. The pipeline will also serve a planned refinery to be built in Fujairah by IPIC within its ongoing investment drive in the UAE and other countries.

Abu Dhabi exports more than 2mn bpd of oil and nearly 7mn tonnes of LNG per year.