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UpstreamOnline: ‘Gulf pipes needed for Mideast demand’

Tuesday 7 November 2006

By Upstream staff

Two new pipelines across the Gulf from Iran may be needed to meet rapidly growing gas demand in the Middle East, a Shell executive said today.

“I could see a new trans-Gulf pipeline to Kuwait from Iran and another serving the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman,” said Martin Trachsel, Shell’s vice president for gas and power in the Middle East Gulf.

The pipelines would need to have capacity of 1 billion to 2.5 billion cubic feet per day of gas to meet expected shortfalls in supplies by 2015, Trachsel told journalists on the sidelines of an industry event in London, Reuters said.

The pipeline to UAE and Oman could originate in Iran or Qatar, he said.

Trachsel said he expected Iran eventually to become a major supplier of gas to the region.

“Given the resources that Iran has, it is not credible to think that the country won’t in the future be a major supplier of gas in the region and to international markets,” he said.

The pipelines would feed into an improved natural gas grid around and across the Gulf, he said.

Shell has no concrete plans to build the pipelines, but they are among a number of projects that the Anglo-Dutch supermajor is discussing with governments in the region, he said.

The $3.5 billion Dolphin Energy project pipeline is expected to begin pumping gas from Qatar to the UAE in the first quarter of next year.

It is the first cross-border gas pipeline in the region and aims to take up to 3.5 billion cubic feet per day of gas to the UAE and later to Oman.

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