Figure if may take until some time in September to get the bugs out of the pipeline and start running crude at the desired level - to get full effect on the US election and don't discount that , October looks like a possible date for the move as to Iran....
By AMENA BAKR AND STANLEY CARVALHO REUTERS DUBAI/ABU DHABI
The United Arab Emirates should know within weeks if its strategic oil pipeline for bypassing the Strait of Hormuz leaks after tests planned for late April, industry sources told Reuters.
The 1.5 million barrel per day (bpd) pipeline should offer the UAE an alternative route to exporting by ship out of the narrow strait which Iran has threatened to block as western pressure to limit its oil revenues has intensified.
The project already faces lengthy delays over a quality dispute with the Chinese company that built it and the UAE’s oil escape route could be blocked for much longer.
“The commissioning of the pipeline will not take place any time before December and there may be further delays if there are leaks during the water test which will take place by the last week of April,” said a UAE-based industry source directly involved in the project.
During the testing phase, water mixed with colored dye will be pumped into the 370-km (231-mile) Abu Dhabi Crude Oil Pipeline buried in the desert.
“Once it’s been checked for leaks and pressure, the pipeline will be dried and filled with nitrogen then about four months later the pipe can be filled with oil,” said another UAE engineering source.
The pipeline links the Habshan oilfields to the port of Fujairah - an increasingly important oil storage terminal outside the Strait of Hormuz on the Gulf of Oman.
Once any leak is found and fixed the commissioning phase can finally begin. This stage may require a small and temporary increase in oil production to keep UAE exports steady as the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company’s onshore unit ADCO pumps oil into the pipeline until it is full.
“The pipe will be filled with about one million barrels then will go up to 1.5 (million barrels) gradually,” the engineering source said.“ADCO now needs to come up with a plan to store oil from the current production for the commissioning phase,” he said.
The UAE’s current output is around 2.6 million bpd and has a production capacity of around 2.7 million bpd.
“So roughly ADNOC needs to store around 40,000 barrels for a month so it could be used for (commissioning) the pipeline,” the industry source close to the project said.
The oil flowing through the pipe from Abu Dhabi will be mainly exported by ship but a portion will be used by a refinery at Fujairah. Other companies working on the project are the International Petroleum Investment Company, owned by the Abu Dhabi government, and China Petroleum Engineering & Construction Corporation.
1001 Moonless Kinetic Nights: Presenting The Windows Of Opportunity For An Iranian Attack
Following last Friday's majority vote by the Israel Security Council authorizing Iranian "action" when required, answering the "if", the only open question remains "when." As it turns out, based on the following analysis by Rapidan Group, there are only 10 or so distinct 10 day New Moon windows for the remainder of 2012. If one removes the sandstorm prone months of April, July and September, there are 7 periods in which a military strike is realistic. Also CVN 65 is moving at a snail's pace and is just now approaching the Straits of Gibraltar. Since any action will likely not take place unless 3 aircraft carriers are in the vicinity, and because the ICE yesterday institutedultra-short term trading spike curbs in crude, starting April 1, one can likely eliminate the immediately proximal March 17-27 window. Which leaves six. Our advice would be to buy up OTM calls in Brent in the days just ahead of the start of any such window, as any "surprise" attack will have a uplifting impact on all combustible assets, doubly so for levered ones.
Based on press reports, officials see high odds of an attack sometime between 2Q12 and the end of the year, with most pointing to 2Q or 3Q.
If Israel elects to conduct a conventional military strike, the optimal conditions would be moonless and cloudless nights. “Operation Orchard,” Israel’s attack on Syria’s reactor at Al-Kibar on Sep 6, 2007, took place 5 days before the new moon. This suggests windows starting about 5 days before a new moon and ending five days after - see the table below. Low humidity is also ideal, but not required.
Attackers would want to avoid sandstorms, which have afflicted Iran in April, July, and September in recent years. Last year, a large sandstorm in mid-April hit 20 provinces, forcing the shutdown of schools and businesses. Sandstorms are visible and predictable, however, and would be taken into account by planners.
For non-kinetic options, climate is not a consideration to our knowledge. Presumably, they would be tried before kinetic ones and only after leaders were convinced Iran had not yet felt enough pain to compel it to freeze enrichment.