The UAE’s crude oil pipeline project connecting Abu Dhabi with Fujairah is expected to be commissioned by the end of July, according to a senior Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) executive.

The Abu Dhabi Crude Oil Pipeline (Adcop) project will transport crude from the UAE’s Habshan oil hub to the country’s east coast by bypassing the Gulf’s Strait of Hormuz bottleneck.

“After commissioning in late July… anytime will be the startup of transportation, storage and exports,” Ali al-Jarwan, chief executive officer of Adnoc subsidiary, Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Company (Adma-Opco) told a press conference on 3 July in the UAE capital.

Adcop was originally scheduled to start operations at the end of 2010.

The pipeline will only be used to transport oil from Abu Dhabi’s onshore operations when it starts pumping crude, Al-Jarwan said. “There is potential to add offshore oil to ensure that connection uses the full capacity of the pipeline,” he added.

Adcop owner, International Petroleum Investment Company (Ipic), invested more than $3.3bn in the 400-kilometre pipeline, which will have the capacity to transport 1.5 million barrels a day (b/d) of crude to Fujairah.

The capacity is about the same as the entire crude output of Abu Dhabi’s onshore fields, leading many analysts to speculate that the pipeline will not reach a flow rate close to its nameplate capacity.

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.