ABU DHABI Jan 20 The United Arab Emirates' Shah
gas project will not be operational until early 2015, the head
of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) said on Monday,
confirming the multi-billion dollar development was behind
Abu Dhabi energy officials have previously said the project
to produce usable gas from Shah's high-sulphur reserves would be
completed in late 2014. The project's website also says
production should start in 2014.
But ADNOC Chief Executive Abdulla Nasser Al Suwaidi said the
multi-billion dollar project with U.S.-based Occidental
Petroleum was likely to come onstream next year.
"There is normal progress, the start up and coming (online)
time for such a plant takes time," he said on the sidelines of
an energy conference in Abu Dhabi on Monday. He added the
company was now targeting a startup in early 2015.
The technically challenging plan to process around 1 billion
cubic feet a day (bcf/d) of sour gas into 0.5 bcf/d of usable
gas in a remote desert area is vital for keeping the UAE
supplied with fuel and reducing its growing gas imports.
As well as gas for industry and power generation, Shah will
produce significant volumes of condensate, a light oil that can
be used to make vehicle fuels.
ADNOC holds a 60 percent share in the Shah gas development
joint venture, called Al Hosn Gas, while Occidental holds 40
Occidental, the fourth-largest U.S. oil company, said in
October it planned to sell some of its stakes in the Gulf region
as part of a restructuring meant to lift its stock valuation.
Italy's Saipem was awarded the engineering,
procurement and construction (EPC) contracts for the gas
processing plant, sulphur recovery unit, and nearly 250
kilometres of related pipelines.
Another EPC for the gas gathering pipelines was awarded to a
joint venture of Spain's Tecnicas Reunidas and India's Punj