A new pipeline to transport oil between Habshan oil field in Abu Dhabi and Fujairah bypassing the Strait of Hormuz will be operational within six months, the UAE's energy minister said on Monday.
"The pipeline is almost complete but hopefully it will be operational within six months, by May or June," Mohammed bin Dhaen Al-Hamli said in comments published by state news agency WAM.
The 360km pipeline has the capacity to transport between 1.5-1.8 million barrels a day, he added.
"The project involves a lot of work as the pipeline has to be filled with crude and tested," he said.
The Abu Dhabi Crude Oil Pipeline (ADCOP) project will allow the UAE to bypass the critical Straits of Hormuz at a time when tensions between Iran and the West have been rising.
The Islamic Republic has threatened to shut down the Straits of Hormuz, the world's most important oil shipping lane, if new sanctions, aimed to discourage Iran's nuclear programme, harm Tehran's oil exports.
The pipeline would link state oil firm Abu Dhabi National Oil Company's Habshan oilfields to the port of Fujairah, one of the top three bunkering hubs and a major oil storage terminal outside the Straits and on the Gulf of Oman.