“Multiple pipelines would partly negate the Iranian threat to block [the Strait of] Hormuz,” said Rafael Kandiyoti, senior research fellow at Imperial College London and author of Pipelines: Oil Flows and Crude Politics. “Showing increasing pipeline capacity suits the purposes of Saudi Arabia.”
The projects come as oil prices have risen back above $100 a barrel in part due to falling Iranian oil exports.
The UAE on Sunday loaded the first tanker from its new 370-kilometer pipe linking the oilfields near Abu Dhabi with the port of Fujairah in the Indian Ocean. The $3.5 billion pipeline, which has been delayed several years, has a capacity of 1.5 million bpd, or about 65 percent of the country’s exports. “This is a very strategic project,” said Mohammed al-Hamli, UAE oil minister, in a ceremony in Fujairah.
At the same time, Saudi Arabia has quietly converted a natural gas pipeline to allow it to carry crude oil. The 1,200-kilometer long pipeline, which could transport up to 2m bpd—or 25 percent of the country’s oil exports—runs from the oilfields of the Eastern province, on the Gulf coast, to a terminal near Yanbu in the Red Sea.Page 2 of 3 | Prev Page | Next Page