Work will soon begin on a venture carrying and distributing Qatari gas to the United Arab Emirates, Qatari Energy Minister Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiya said Monday.
"The project, named Dolphin, has cleared great steps ... and work will begin very soon," Attiya said on a visit to Abu Dhabi, quoted by the official Emirate news agency WAM. The minister said the Qatari gas could then also be exported to Oman.
"Oman is currently negotiating with its Emirati brothers, Qatar being in a position to respond to the gas needs of Gulf countries .. on the condition that economic conditions are met," he said.
Quoted separately by the official Qatari News Agency, Attiya said Emirati and Qatari experts would meet Tuesday in Doha to "put in palce a detailed plan for the execution of the project."
Attiya said in June that negotiations were taking place for Qatar provide the UAE and Kuwait with more than 51 cubic meters of liquified natural gas each day.
The Middle East Economic Survey (MEES), a specialist newsletter based in Cyprus, reported February 5 that an agreement would be signed soon on the Dolphin gas project, estimated to cost $10 billion.
"Detailed discussions between the UAE Offsets Group (UOG) and Qatar Petroleum (QP) have focused on the sale price of the gas, volumes, seasonal adjustments and the selection of the North Field blocks from which the gas will be sourced," MEES said.
Progress in the UOG Dolphin project had been delayed pending an agreement on the transfer price before other issues were discussed, it said. It said the Dolphin gas line could eventually be extended to Pakistan or even India.
Qatar sits on the world's third largest proven gas reserves, after Russia and Iran, estimated at 8.5 trillion cubic metres (297 trillion cubic feet).
Mobil Oil Qatar Inc., an affiliate of Mobil Corp., signed a memorandum of understanding with UOG last year to start negotiations on developing a long-term supply and purchase agreement for initial supplies, estimated to be in the range of nine to 15 million cubic metres of gas per day.—AFP.
©--Agence France Presse 2001.
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )