Muscat: Oman is gearing for the import of Qatari gas, with supplies likely to arrive via the giant Dolphin pipeline project as early as next month.

The sultanate's Oil and Gas Minister, Dr Mohammad Bin Hamed Al Rumhi, told local media on Sunday that a key receiving station at Al Buraimi, on Oman's border with the UAE, is being readied ahead of the imminent arrival of the gas - the first imports by gas-deficient Oman.

"We are hopeful that Dolphin gas will begin flowing next month. The compressor station at Al Buraimi is currently being tested in this regard," Dr Al Rumhi was quoted as stating.

Oman has been allocated around 200 million standard cubic feet per day (mmsf/d) of gas via the Dolphin project under an agreement reached between the state-owned Oman Oil Company (OOC) and Abu Dhabi based Dolphin Energy Limited (DEL).

The joint venture DEL, which is owned by Mubadala Development Company of Abu Dhabi, Total of France and Occidental Petroleum of the US, has already begun pumping Qatari gas to the UAE via a submarine pipeline.

Onward supplies to Oman will be channelled via an existing pipeline that runs from Al Buraimi all the way to Sohar, where a huge industrial and petrochemical hub is now operational.

Supplies from Qatar will go some way in meeting the escalating demand for gas as feedstock and fuel for the country's rapidly growing industrial and petrochemicals sector.