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UAE says in Oman refinery joint venture talks

OPEC member the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is in talks with Oman about jointly building a refinery with its non-OPEC oil producing neighbour, the UAE's economy ministry said on Tuesday.

January 10, 2012 10:52 by

Sultan bin Saeed al-Mansouri, the UAE’s minister of economy, met with Omani officials in the Omani capital Muscat this week to discuss building a refinery at Duqm on the east coast of Oman, the ministry said on its website.

“We discussed the refinery project in the area of Duqm, a joint project between the two countries,” Mansouri said after his three-day visit.

Oman has been investing in refineries to help meet surging domestic oil consumption which has more than doubled over the last decade thanks to energy-intensive industrial growth.

The Omani port of Sohar, located outside the strategically important Straits of Hormuz – where tensions between Iran and the West have been rising in recent weeks – has seen rapid growth in oil storage and shipping over the last few years.

The Omani government has now earmarked Duqm as the next industrial growth city, with investments of up to $15 billion planned in new petrochemical and infrastructure projects at the port over the next 10 years.

The UAE ministry cited an Omani official saying that the state-run Oman Oil Company and Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Co. (IPIC) are considering building a 230,000 barrel per day (bpd) refinery together.

Mansouri said the UAE saw Duqm as a strategic investment. (Reporting by Martina Fuchs, editing by Humeyra Pamuk and Daniel Fineren.)

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