The delayed $3.3bn Abu Dhabi Crude Oil Pipeline (Adcop) project, which will connect the UAE’s major oilfields with its eastern coastline, has been completed, according to the country’s energy minister.

Attending an energy conference in Paris on 6 May, UAE energy minister Mohamed bin Dhaen al-Hamli told Reuters that the pipeline was being tested and would start exports by August.

The 400-kilometre pipeline will enable Abu Dhabi to export oil from the eastern emirate of Fujairah while bypassing the Strait of Hormuz.

Engineering procurement and construction (EPC) contractor China Petroleum Engineering & Construction (CPECC) has faced significant delays in commissioning the pipeline, having to change the design plans half way through the project. Adcop was originally scheduled to start operations at the end of 2010.

The pipeline, owned by Abu Dhabi-based International Petroleum Investment Company (Ipic) is designed to transport 1.5 million barrels a day (b/d) of crude to Fujairah, with potential to expand to 1.8 million b/d.

Fujairah’s strategic location on the Gulf of Oman has seen it become an important part of the UAE’s oil and gas strategy. Earlier this year, plans were announced to build a 12 billion cubic metre liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal at the port.