[QODLink]
Middle East
New UAE pipeline bypasses Strait of Hormuz
Oil shipments can now reach terminal on Gulf of Oman, bypassing Strait of Hormuz and Iran's threats to blockade it.
Last Modified: 15 Jul 2012 18:56
Based on last year's figures, 17 million barrels of oil pass through the Strait of Hormuz each day [EPA]

The United Arab Emirates has inaugurated a pipeline to pump oil from east coast terminals, bypassing the strategic Strait of Hormuz which Iran has threatened to shut down, state-run WAM news agency reported.

The first shipment of 500,000 barrels of oil from the Habshan fields in Abu Dhabi emirate were pumped through the pipeline to Fujairah oil terminal on the Gulf of Oman, where it was loaded on a tanker headed for Pakistan, on Sunday.

Energy Minister Mohammad bin Dhaen al-Hameli attended a ceremony in Fujairah for the launch.

Other countries, such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq and Qatar still rely on  Hormuz to transport their exports [Al Jazeera]

Fears of a closure of the Strait of Hormuz have intensified amid repeated threats by Tehran to close the strategic outlet in retaliation for Western efforts to choke off its oil exports to rein in Iran's nuclear programme.

Media reports in Tehran earlier this month said Iranian MPs endorsed a bill banning Europe-bound tankers from using the Strait of Hormuz to punish EU nations which have slapped sanctions on Iran.

On Thursday, US officials said the United States has deployed a fleet of robot subs in the Gulf to prevent Iran from blocking the strategic Strait of Hormuz with mines in case of a crisis.

The US military has been bolstering its presence in the region and sent four mine sweeper ships in early June, joining four other mine sweeping vessels already in the region, according to its Bahrain-based Fifth Fleet.

And in late April, a squadron of F-22 stealth fighters was sent to an air base in the United Arab Emirates.

Last week, senior Abu Dhabi oil official Ali Jarwan said the Habshan-Fujairah pipeline would be fully operational in August. Construction of the 360km pipeline began in 2008.

In late May, Fujairah ruler Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al-Sharqi told the AFP news agency the pipeline will have an initial capacity of 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd) rising to a maximum 1.8 million bpd.

The UAE's current production is about 2.5 million bpd.

381

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.