Abu Dhabi’s Dolphin Energy and Qatar Petroleum (QP) hope to conclude talks in the second half of 2010 to import an additional 300 million cubic feet a day (cf/d) of gas into the UAE using the Dolphin pipeline.

The UAE currently imports 2 billion cf/d of gas from Qatar and has deals to import a further 90 million cf/d, according to seasonal demand.

Dolphin started talks with QP in June to source an additional 300-500 million cf/d of gas, according to seasonal demand, to meet growing local needs. according to a statement issued by Dolphin on 7 December, QP indicated it could increase its supply level up to 400 million cf/d of gas from the current level.

“Discussions concerning any additional supply and the final amount of natural gas supplied have not been finalised,” according to the Dolphin statement. “It is hoped that any agreement will be secured by the third quarter of 2010.”

While the pipeline has a maximum capacity of up to 3.2 billion cf/d, Doha’s moratorium on further development of its North Field means the pipeline’s capacity is unlikely to be fully used in the short to medium term.

Dolphin Energy is 51 per cent owned by the UAE’s Mubadala Investment Company, on behalf of the government of Abu Dhabi, and 24.5 per cent each by Total of France and Occidental Petroleum of the US.

Dolphin started receiving natural gas from Qatar in July 2007 to support long-term industrial growth in the UAE and Oman.

The gas is from Qatar’s North field, the largest single non-associated gas field in the world. It is produced from 24 wells, 80 kilometres offshore. It is then transported to Qatar’s Ras Laffan industrial complex by pipeline for processing, before being sent to the UAE and Oman.