Possibilities exist to enhance capacity of Dolphin Energy, the first ever cross-border gas project in the GCC, to 3.2bn cubic feet (bcf) a day by 2015, said Arnaud Breuillac, Total 's senior vice-president (Middle East, exploration & production).
Currently, the capacity is just above 2.2bn cubic feet a day, Breuillac told Gulf Times in Paris.
"However, this does not mean higher amount of gas will go from Qatar to the UAE. It means the availability of enhanced capacity. A new compression facility at Ras Laffan that will start up in early 2015 will facilitate this," he said.
The demand for gas has been increasing in the region all the time. The UAE is now building a new LNG import terminal at Fujairah, whose phase one is also expected to become functional by 2015.
"We believe we have made a very good investment in the Dolphin Project, which has tremendous prospects," Breuillac said.
The joint venture's 364km subsea export pipeline — the first cross-border project of its kind in the region — has helped the UAE fuel its fast-growing energy demands while Qatar benefits from a stable export route.
Total 's partnership with Mubadala Development Company and Occidental Petroleum has provided the planning and know-how to make a success of one of the GCC's most visionary projects. Total has a 24.5% stake in the unique regional project.
Total joined the project very early and for us it was extremely important to be one of the main players in the first cross-regional development for the transportation of energy in the GCC.
The agreement between Abu Dhabi and Qatar was quite forward-looking at that time, both in terms of linking three GCC countries and in Abu Dhabi's good observation of its future gas needs.
Breuillac was quoted in Total publication Afaq as having said that Qatar was the only GCC country that has potential gas exports for many years to come.
Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the UAE all have structural natural gas deficits which are driving them to developing more challenging upstream projects such as tight gas and sour gas. Kuwait can now import liquefied natural gas, but an alternative to this might be building infrastructure like the Dolphin Energy pipeline.
He said: "The project has the potential for a capacity increase of 1bn cubic feet a day. We have just launched a programme to expand the compression facilities that will provide this capacity, but for now we are lacking the gas supply from Qatar.
"This is because Qatar has placed a moratorium on gas development on the North Field until 2014 and has not yet decided how they want to develop the resource in future."