Dolphin to close UAE gas sales deals this year

16 October 2002 – Dolphin Energy Limited (DEL) aims to clinch gas sales with UAE customers by December and start supplying its first buyer with Omani natural gas in 2003, a senior company official said on Tuesday.

DEL’s $3.5 billion inter-Gulf gas network is expected to pump an initial two billion cubic feet per day of gas from Qatar’s North Field to buyers in the emirates of Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Fujairah by early 2006.

“We have agreed most of the details with our customers and we hope to finalise sales agreements by the end of the year,” Ahmed al Sayegh, DEL’s Chief Executive Officer told reporters at a news conference.

He declined to be drawn on the specifics of pricing, but DEL officials have said that Abu Dhabi, the richest of the UAE’s seven emirates, would not subsidise Dolphin’s sales.

“These are very delicate and highly complicated discussions and we have to maintain confidentiality as we are proceeding,” Sayegh said.

DEL has lined up the Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (ADWEA), Dubai Supply Authority (DUSUP) and Union Water and Electricity Company (UWEC) in Fujairah as potential customers.

While drilling for Qatari gas, DEL will supply Fujairah’s UWEC with 120 million cubic feet per day of Omani gas for three-and-a-half to five years once the al Ain-Fujairah pipeline is completed in September 2003.

Sayegh said supplies from Oman may be raised to 300 million cubic feet per day. DEL hopes by 2008-2009 to reverse the al-Ain-Fujairah pipeline and supply Oman with gas from Qatar.

DEL, created in 1999, is also in the process of devising a “new approach to financing arrangements,” said Sayegh. Earlier this year, DEL parted company with Credit Suisse First Boston, originally mandated in January to secure financing.

The United Arab Emirates Offsets Group (UOG) – the Abu Dhabi state investment arm – holds a 51 percent stake in DEL, while France’s TotalFinaELf and Occidental Petroleum of the United States each hold a 24.5 percent stake.

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