UAE seeks more natural gas from Qatar via Dolphin pipeline

Energy Minister says 'we expect to see a significant shift in the supply dynamics of gas' within the next 10 years.

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The UAE, which needs natural gas to meet surging domestic demand, wants to import more fuel from Qatar through the Dolphin pipeline, the Energy Minister Suhail Al Mazrouei said.

The UAE also will boost imports of liquefied natural gas and develop its own deposits of high-sulfur, or sour, gas, he said yesterday at an industry presentation in Abu Dhabi. The country’s energy subsidies will become unsustainable because these sources of fuel are more expensive than gas produced from conventional fields, Mr Mazrouei said.

“We expect to see a significant shift in the supply dynamics of gas” within the next 10 years, he said.

The UAE needs gas to generate electricity for a growing population and expanding energy-intensive industries such as aluminum and steel. The country is the fifth-biggest producer in Opec, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, and Abu Dhabi holds most of the nation’s oil.

Development of new fields in Qatar would make more gas available for the UAE to import, Mr Mazrouei said. He didn’t say if the UAE has agreed to buy additional Qatari gas.

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc), a government-run producer, is “on course” to maximize its use of gas and oil reserves in the country’s largest emirate, Adnoc’s general manager Abdullah Nasser Al Suwaidi said at the same event.

Abu Dhabi’s Shah sour gas project was commissioned on January 10 and began producing about 100 million standard cubic feet a day, and Adnoc expects it to reach full capacity of 600 million by year-end, Mr Al Suwaidi told reporters.

The country is also developing sour gas at the Bab field, Mr Mazrouei said.

Dolphin Energy supplies gas to the UAE from neighboring Qatar through an undersea pipeline. The company, 51 per cent owned by Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Development, started bringing gas to the UAE in 2007 from Qatar’s North Field, the world’s largest known gas deposit.

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