17 May 2007 - 12:22
  • News Code: 104880

TEHRAN -- Iran"s one billion-dollar gas supply contract with the UAE Company Crescent, a partner of Dana Gas, might be hijacked by rival companies, an Emirati oil official said.

Speaking on the sidelines of a conference in Dubai on Monday, Hussein Sultan, vice chairman of Emirati oil and gas company, RAK Petroleum, added that the contract with the Iranian party that allows the UAE to import natural gas from Iran, can be passed on to rival companies.

After a one-year hiatus, other major Emirati oil companies such as RAK as well as Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC) will have the chance to sign contracts with Dana Gas, should Crescent fail to agree terms with the Iranian company, Sultan said, according to Isna

"Everybody would like to get the Iranian gas," he added. "Personally, if I had the clearance, I would go for it."

Crescent has been locked in a dispute with Iran over the supply of gas to its partner Dana, which was due to begin last year.

Controlled by the Jafar family Sharjah-based Crescent, which owns 21 percent of Dana, signed a contract with the state-owned National Iranian Oil Company to begin gas supplies to the UAE starting second-quarter last year via a $1-billion pipeline project. Iran has since blocked the venture as it seeks a higher price than was originally agreed for the gas.

Iranian Oil Minister Kazem Vaziri Hamaneh issued an ultimatum to Crescent and Dana over the weekend, demanding a higher price to supply the gas. Hamaneh said Iran would consider "an alternative" to the Crescent deal.

Though the UAE is the second financial hub in the Middle East, its economy is greatly dependent on gas to the point that gas shortage can stop its economic growth.

With an estimated one billion cubic meters of daily consumed gas, Dubai is the biggest importer of and consumer of natural gas in the region.

The second largest sheikhdom in the region with an officially registered population of 1.4 million, consumes the amount of gas equal to that of New York City.


News Code 104880

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