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The United Arab Emirates will start publishing weekly inventory data for its Fujairah port in a bid to enhance transparency and help turn the Indian Ocean port into an international oil hub such as Singapore and Rotterdam.
UAE’s energy minister Suhail Al Mazroui, who announced the news on the sidelines of the Gulf Intelligence Energy Market Forum, added that “Fujairah sits at the heart of the new energy corridor opening up East of the Suez Canal to Asia, and not only is it a world-class bunkering and oil products storage centre – it is now also becoming an important crude oil export hub.”
The port, which started operating in 1983, had a throughput capacity of 56 million tons of oil products as of 2015. It is the UAE’s only Indian Ocean port with the capabilities to export oil and oil products, and earlier this month it launched the first Very Large Crude Carrier jetty in the country, capable of handling up to two million barrels of crude and fuels per vessel.
The transparency move is part of a wider initiative, called Vision 2021, to make official government data more openly available. At the same time, the plan to turn Fujairah into an oil storage and trading hub is part of UAE’s efforts to cope with the new oil price environment, diversifying from just pumping as much crude as possible to maintain market share.
The ambition to turn Fujairah into a global energy hub was also helped by Platts, which announced it would start publishing independent price assessments for a number of oil products sold on the Middle Eastern market on a free-on-board basis at Fujairah. The data releases will start October 3.
As Bloomberg notes, building up the storage capacity of the port and publishing regular data on inventories will provide oil and oil product traders with a direct access to Asian and African markets. Fujairah will be an alternative to the crowded Strait of Hormuz, where over 30 percent of global oil and fuel shipments pass.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for the U.S.-based Divergente LLC consulting firm with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.