DOLPHIN ENERGY LIMITED
What is the Dolphin Gas Project?
Dolphin Energy Shareholders
Dolphin Gas Project Objectives
Official Agreements with Qatar
Abu Dhabi Emiri Decree and SPC Decision
The Engineering Achievement
Dolphin Energy Supplies Gas to Fujairah
Gas Sales to Key Customers
Construction of Taweelah-Fujairah Pipeline
WHAT IS THE DOLPHIN GAS PROJECT?
The Dolphin Gas Project is a unique strategic energy initiative, which has been
supplying increasing quantities of natural gas from offshore Qatar to the United
Arab Emirates since July 2007. After successively ramping up production in
subsequent months, Dolphin achieved its target throughput rate of 2 billion
standard cubic feet of gas per day (scf/day) in February 2008.
Dolphin Energy Limited was established as a development company in Abu
Dhabi in 1999 to implement the Dolphin Gas Project, and to undertake other
important energy-related developments such as the Al Ain - Fujairah Gas
Pipeline. This was completed in December 2003 and commissioned in January
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2004, creating the first ever cross-border refined gas transmission in the history of
The mandate of Dolphin Energy is to produce, supply and transport natural gas
from a dedicated section of Qatar’s offshore North Field to customers in the UAE
The linking subsea pipeline – completed in August 2006 – is 364 kms in length, and
48 inches in diameter: it is the longest and largest gas pipeline in the Middle East.
The costs of the complex upstream gas gathering and processing plant in
Qatar’s Ras Laffan and the overall investment in the Dolphin Gas Project have
made it one of the largest energy-related ventures ever undertaken in the
DOLPHIN ENERGY SHAREHOLDERS
Dolphin Energy Limited was established in March 1999. Total of France became a
shareholder in 2000, and subsequently Occidental Petroleum of the USA was
invited to take equity in the company in May, 2002. The shareholding structure is
accordingly: Mubadala Development Company 51%; Total 24.5 percent and
Occidental Petroleum 24.5 percent. Mubadala Development Company is wholly
owned by the Government of Abu Dhabi.
DOLPHIN GAS PROJECT OBJECTIVES
By transporting natural gas from one of the world’s largest gas fields to the UAE,
the Dolphin Gas Project is now stimulating industrial, business and residential
investment in the United Arab Emirates and Oman through secure,
competitively-priced natural gas supplies over many decades.
The Dolphin Gas Project involves activity along the entire ‘gas value chain’, from
the development of gas fields to the creation of new industrial zones and
projects, fueled by the power generated from gas piped from those fields. It
therefore opens up new energy resources by meeting the growing requirement
for secure, long-term and clean energy in both the UAE and Oman.
The construction and commissioning phase of the Dolphin Project, completed in
2008, involved development of 24 offshore wells, two production platforms and a
substantial gas processing plant in Qatar; then transportation by export pipeline
of up to 2 billion standard cubic feet per day (bscf/d) of processed ‘sweet’ gas
from Qatar’s North Field to customers in the UAE and (since October 2008)
Since Dolphin’s gas production reached full capacity in February 2008, average
gas throughput volumes in millions of standard cubic feet per day (mmsf/d) have
been as follows:
ADWEC (Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Company) 929 mmsf/d
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DUSUP (Dubai Supply Authority) 730 mmsf/d
From October 31 2008, OOC (Oman Oil Company) has been receiving an
average of 200 mmsf/d from Dolphin Energy at the Al Ain-Buraimi border.
OFFICIAL AGREEMENTS WITH QATAR
Qatar’s role is central to the Dolphin Gas Project, for Qatar’s Government owns
the natural resource that fuels the UAE’s new industries.
The commercial details covering Dolphin Energy’s activities in Qatar are set out
in two major agreements with Qatar Petroleum Company. These are the
Development and Production Sharing Agreement (DPSA) and the Export Pipeline
These agreements provide for the development of the upstream facilities to
produce sufficient natural gas from the Khuff formation in Qatar’s North Field; its
transportation to a dedicated gas gathering and processing plant at Ras Laffan
to strip out condensate, LPGs, ethane and sulfur for commercial sale – and
transportation of the resulting processed gas through the 370 km-plus pipeline to
the UAE. Dolphin Energy is the Operator of all these upstream facilities.
Two Qatari Emiri decrees, announced on May 7, 2002, confirmed these
agreements. Decree No 12 of 2002 endorsed the DPSA, and Decree No 13 of
2002 endorsed the EPA. The decrees made these agreements effective from the
date of signing, and formally confirmed Dolphin Energy Limited’s rights and
ABU DHABI EMIRI DECREE AND SPC DECISION
As Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahayan,
now President of the UAE and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, issued Abu Dhabi Emiri Decree
No. 8 on May 26, 2002, which approved the incorporation of Dolphin Energy
Limited, established its relationship with ADNOC, and endorsed its role, tasks and
His Highness Sheikh Khalifa subsequently issued Decision Number 1 of the Abu
Dhabi Supreme Petroleum Council (SPC) for 2002 on May 28 of that year. This
detailed Dolphin Energy’s role in gas exploration, processing and importation
outside the UAE, and defined its marketing and distribution tasks. It also
authorized Dolphin Energy Limited to establish and operate the gas pipelines
necessary to distribute imported natural gas within the UAE.
THE ENGINEERING ACHIEVEMENT
The engineering mandate given to Dolphin Energy was to construct a 48-inch,
370 km-plus gas pipeline between Qatar and the UAE – and then to produce,
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process and transport each day through this pipeline up to 2 billion standard
cubic feet of natural gas (approximately equivalent to 333,000 barrels of oil
The achievement required to bring the Dolphin Gas Project to production was
therefore considerable, with three distinct elements involved. These are best
summed up in the industry terms ‘Upstream’ (drilling, extracting and processing),
‘Midstream’ (transport and supply) and ‘Downstream’ (distribution to customers).
Dolphin’s first upstream requirement was to drill and extract sufficient quantities
of ‘wet gas’ from the natural gas-bearing Khuff Zone in Qatar’s North Field’s, gas
which lies between 10,000 and 12,000 feet (3,000 –3,600 meters) underground.
During 2006, two purpose-built production platforms were constructed to carry
out the task.
The ‘wet gas’ produced is piped some 80 kilometers to shore at Qatar’s Ras
Laffan, where the Dolphin Gas Processing Plant was built between 2004 and
2007. This is the largest single build plant in the world, and it makes up the core
element in the company’s operations.
Here Dolphin strips out valuable commercial products (such as condensate,
LPGs, ethane and sulfur), with the result that ‘lean’ processed natural gas is then
ready for transport by pipeline to the UAE.
Valuable by-products – condensate, LPGs and sulfur – are delivered from
Dolphin’s Gas Processing Plant to various storage facilities, prior to export on a
regular basis from exclusive loading berths. The ethane produced is sold within
In January 2004, three substantial Engineering, Procurement and Construction
(EPC) contracts were awarded by Dolphin to carry out all this work in Qatar.
The EPC contract for the Ras Laffan gas processing and compression plant was
awarded to JGC Corporation of Japan, with the EPC for construction of the two
offshore production platforms awarded to J Ray McDermott of the UAE. At the
same time, a Purchase Order was made for the plant’s six compression trains,
driven by 52MW gas turbines supplied by Rolls Royce Energy Systems of the UK .
The key Midstream element is the 48-inch subsea Export Pipeline from Qatar to
Abu Dhabi, designed to transport up to 3.2 billion cubic feet per day, which was
completed in August 2006.
The line pipe for the Export Pipeline was supplied by Mitsui of Japan, and some
440,000 tons of pipe were received. The Export Pipeline was laid by Saipem of
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Italy, which was awarded the EPC contract in March 2004 – as well as a separate
contract whereby Saipem also laid the twin 36-inch sealines that link Dolphin’s
North Field wells to Ras Laffan.
The principal Downstream task was the construction and upgrade of onshore
facilities in the UAE to receive and distribute the natural gas arriving from Qatar.
Facilities were built for Dolphin Energy at Taweelah in Abu Dhabi by the Technip
(Abu Dhabi) & Al Jaber Engineering Services Consortium in 2006-7.
An agreement was reached with ADNOC for access to its gas distribution
network, which Dolphin has now contracted to manage.
A separate and important Downstream activity was the construction of Dolphin
Energy’s 24-inch gas pipeline from Al Ain to Fujairah, which was completed in
December 2003. This pipeline was the first project of Dolphin Energy to come on
DOLPHIN SUPPLIES OF GAS TO FUJAIRAH
The first Dolphin Energy project to go on-stream was the Al-Ain to Fujairah natural
gas pipeline, which was completed in December 2003. Commissioned in
January 2004, it created the first ever cross-border refined natural gas
transmission in the history of the GCC.
This major construction initiative brought Dolphin gas from Oman to the new 656
MW power & water plant and 100 mg/d desalination plant in Fujairah on the east
coast of the UAE. An average of 135 million cubic feet of natural gas a day was
delivered by Oman Oil Company (OOC) to Dolphin Energy at the UAE-Oman
border for some 3 ½ years. Dolphin gas from Qatar is now reaching Fujairah, via
Taweelah, Maqta and Al Ain.
GAS SALES TO KEY CUSTOMERS
In October 2003, Dolphin Energy signed significant long-term gas sales
agreements with its initial customers, Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority
(ADWEA). In May 2005 a substantial long-term gas sales agreement was signed
with the Dubai Supply Authority (DUSUP).
In September 2005, Dolphin signed a further long term gas sales agreement with
Oman Oil Company, to deliver gas from 2008 at the Al Ain pipeline intersection.
Deliveries began on October 31, 2008.
The company also supplies gas on short term interruptible contracts to the
Federal Water & Electricity Authority (FEWA), Ras Al Khaimah Natural Gas
Commission (since May 2005) and Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority (since
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CONSTRUCTION OF TAWEELAH-FUJAIRAH PIPELINE
The construction of the Taweelah – Fujairah Pipeline (TFP) follows a requirement
from ADWEC to transport additional volumes of natural gas for its power stations
in the east coast of the Emirates.
The award for the TFP line pipe was announced in December 2007. The order
went to Salzgitter Mannesmann International of Germany and is worth more than
US$200 million: some 120,000 tons of X70 48-inch coated line pipe was being
supplied in the period 2008-9.
Dolphin awarded the US$418 million construction contract to Stroytransgaz of
Russia in July 2008 and site work began towards the end of the same year. A 48
inch pipeline is being laid over an environmentally approved route through more
than 244 kilometers of desert and mountain and important construction
milestones have been met. These are:
1st Milestone: Reached in August 2009
1.2km of 40” spur line was laid between the receiver of the Al Ain – Fujairah
Pipeline (AFP) and ADWEC’s new power and desalination plant (F2) at Qidfa,
Fujairah. This allowed commissioning of early gas at Dolphin Energy’s gas receipt
station that services the F2 plant.
2nd Milestone: Reached in May 2010
128km of pipeline was laid from Taweelah to a section of the AFP. Using a hot
tap connection, Dolphin was ready to transport 350 million standard cubic feet
of natural gas per day – sufficient volume to supply both power stations, F1 and
3rd Milestone: Slated for December 2010
The remaining 116km of pipeline will be laid to complete TFP. This will see
construction activity in the most challenging section of the route which rises to
680 meters above sea level in one place and a maximum slope angle of 33
Completion of work is expected at the end of 2010.
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