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Thursday, May 03, 2012
PARIS (Dow Jones)--A planned Gulf oil pipeline that will bypass the Strait of Hormuz is complete and is now being tested, the energy minister of the United Arab Emirates said Thursday.
News that the route is getting close to operating will provide some relief to oil markets rattled by Iranian threats to block the Strait--through which one-fifth of the world's oil is shipped.
Speaking to a conference in Paris, Mohamed Bin Dhaen al-Hamli said: "The pipeline is complete, now it is being tested."
He said the route will "ease the traffic and the congestion in Strait of Hormuz."
Though he insisted "oil never stopped" flowing through the shipping route, the minister said the "bypass will be providing an alternative route and a safe route."
The $3.29 billion, 400-kilometer project will enable UAE to export as much as 70% of its crude from the Arabian Sea port of Fujairah.
-By Benoit Faucon, Dow Jones Newswires; +44 20 7842 9266; firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires