DUBAI, July 15 (Xinhua) -- Mohammed Bin Dhaen al-Hamli, Minister of Energy of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), inaugurated Sunday the Habshan-Fujairah oil pipeline which was designed to export Abu Dhabi's oil bypassing the Strait of Hormuz controlled by Iran.
The 370-km long pipeline connects the Gulf state's largest sheikhdom Abu Dhabi, where 7 percent of the world's known oil reserves are located, with the emirate of Fujairah which has access to the Indian ocean.
The pipeline has a capacity to pump through 1.5 million barrels of oil per day. Local media reported the first export via the pipeline will be shipped from Fujairah to Pakistan.
"The project relieves pressure on the Ruwais refinery in Abu Dhabi and balances international oil prices," local news agency WAM quoted the minister as saying at the opening of the pipeline.
The UAE wants firstly to speed up its oil exports to international markets and secondly to ease the threat from Iran. In recent months, Tehran has frequently threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz, a strategic oil shipping waterway, in case the United States and Israel would launch a military strike on its disputed nuclear facilities.
Some 40 percent of the world's annual oil consumption are shipped through the isthmus in the south of the Gulf.