U.A.E.’s Fujairah to Explore for Oil, Plans Petrochemical Plant

The United Arab Emirates sheikhdom of Fujairah, an oil storage and trading hub on the Indian Ocean, is exploring for crude and may seek investors for a petrochemicals plant, an official with the government said.

Fujairah is conducting seismic surveys to find potential deposits at both on and offshore locations, Salem Kelil, technical adviser to the local government, said at a conference in Dubai today. The emirate has drilled three wells and hasn’t found any oil yet, he said.

One of the U.A.E.’s seven sheikhdoms, Fujairah is nestled between the Persian Gulf state’s Indian Ocean coast and the Hajar Mountains, the source of stones used to create the artificial islands off the coast of richer neighbor Dubai. Fujairah’s location outside the Strait of Hormuz energy-shipment chokepoint has helped it attract international oil traders and fuel-storage tank operators to the emirate.

Abu Dhabi’s government-owned International Petroleum Investment Co. plans to build an oil refinery in the emirate. That facility will produce about 70,000 barrels a day of naphtha, a refined product that may be used as feedstock in a future petrochemical plant, Kelil said.

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