UAE shortlists five majors for stake in Gulf gas project
State-run UAE Offsets Group (UOG) said Saturday, August 4, it has shortlisted five oil majors to replace the US firm Enron for a stake in a multi-billion-dollar project to deliver Qatari gas to the Emirates.
The majors are Conoco, ExxonMobil and Occidental Petroleum of the United States, BP International and the Anglo-Dutch firm Shell, it said in a statement.
"UOG will now hold detailed negotiations with the shortlisted companies to ensure that the new partner will add significant commercial and strategic value to the project," UOG said.
"The new partner, scheduled to be selected during the last quarter of the current year, will acquire a portion of UOG's stake."
Enron Corp. withdrew from the venture in May and transferred its 24.5 percent stake in the Dolphin Energy Project (DEL) to UOG, without a price being disclosed.
UOG currently owns 75.5 percent of DEL which was set up in July 2000 to implement the gas project, while France's TotalFinaElf continues to hold the remaining 24.5 percent.
"The project has evolved into a strong upstream and gas transportation and delivery project. Enron is not an upstream company," the US company said to explain its pullout.
The venture aims to transport two billion cubic feet per day (60 million cubic metres) of Qatari natural gas by undersea pipeline to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and on to Oman.
Enron's role was to build a 350-kilometre pipeline under the Gulf between Qatar and Abu Dhabi.
Qatar and the UAE inked a 25-year term sheet agreement on the Dolphin project on March 14. The partners aim to sign a development and production-sharing accord by the end of the third quarter of 2001.
The first phase of the gas project has a price tag of between $3.5 and $4 billion, and deliveries are scheduled to start in 2005. — (AFP)
© Agence France Presse
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)