Dubai considers potential for gas hub

Eric Watkins
OGJ Oil Diplomacy Editor

LOS ANGELES, Apr. 21 -- Delegates at Dubai’s Global Energy Forum have learned that state-owned Dubai Supply Authority (Dusup) is considering the possibility of establishing a natural gas trading hub in the Emirate.

"We are talking about looking at the creation of a gas hub,” said Paul Mason, Dusup manager. “We have the ability to import LNG, but not really the ability to export. It may be the logical next step,” he said.

"We need to put together the assets that we have,” said Mason, who noted that Dubai is connected by pipelines to Abu Dhabi, the other emirates, and Qatar. “We can start to form an ability to provide services for the wider region," he said.

No less important, however, Dusup converted and installed Dubai's first floating LNG facility at Jebel Ali Port last year, converting an existing LNG carrier into a floating storage unit capable of supplying 3 million tonnes/year of gas.

"Within 500 km lies 30% of the world's gas reserve,” Mason observed. “By installing this LNG facility, we are opening up a world market which was previously constrained to pipelines,” he said.

"Prior to the arrival of the LNG facility, most of our supplies came from Abu Dhabi and Qatar. Beyond this, there is a lot of potential gas around and we have to work very closely with our neighbors,” Mason told delegates.

"There are conversations going on, but there are also things we can do here in Dubai such as the potential to explore offshore in fields in the area," said Mason.

Contact Eric Watkins at hippalus@yahoo.com.



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