DUBAI, Oct 10 (Reuters) - Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) is building a crude oil storage facility under the mountains of Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates, industry sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.
The underground Mandous facility will have the capacity to store about 40 million barrels of oil and is expected to be completed by 2020, one of the sources said.
South Korea’s SK Engineering & Construction was awarded a contract to build the facility, the sources said.
ADNOC declined to comment, and SK did not respond to a request for comment.
Last year, ADNOC signed a deal to store about 6 million barrels of oil at India’s Mangalore storage site, taking up about half of its capacity. In May, ADNOC, which aims to boost its market share in Asia, supplied its first cargo of crude oil to the Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Ltd (ISPRL).
The UAE is a major OPEC producer pumping around 3 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil and plans to boost its production capacity to 3.5 million bpd by the end of this year.
The emirate of Fujairah, located on the east coast of the UAE at the entrance to the Strait of Hormuz, is one of two major bunkering ports in the region along with Oman’s Sohar and is a busy refuelling point for tankers taking crude on long voyages out of the Gulf.
The Abu Dhabi Crude Oil Pipeline (ADCOP), with a capacity of 1.5 million bpd, carries the bulk of the UAE’s crude production to Fujairah onshore storage and offshore loading facilities, bypassing the Strait of Hormuz. (Reporting by Rania El Gamal in Dubai; additional reporting by Jane Chung in Seoul; Editing by)