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Mena gas investments surge to $126b

October 18, 2020
oil and gas

Gas demand is expected to grow by approximately 3.8 to four per cent on average compared to six per cent in 2019

Investments in the Middle East and North African region's gas sector have shown a steady surge to reach $126 billion, up 29 per cent in comparison to 2019, regardless of the current oil market crisis and the Covid-inflicted global lockdowns and economic recession, Arab Petroleum Investment Corporation (Apicorp) said.

'Contrary to overall global developments, the region's petrochemicals sector shows a year-on-year increase of $4 billion in planned projects in comparison to 2019. At the same time, total committed projects showed a decrease of $13 billion, this is largely caused by the completion of several projects in 2019,' Apicorp, the investment fund of the Organisation of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries, said in its Mena Gas & Petrochemicals Investments Outlook 2020-2024.

Apicorp's optimism is based on the ongoing downstream value chain integration. While the UAE is committed to its $22 billion gas development masterplan, which includes the well-covered unconventional and sour gas projects, main gas players such as Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Iran are still committed to their respective gas investments. Saudi Arabia and Iraq are looking mainly at gas-to-power projects, while Iran is increasing its emphasis on petrochemicals, it said.

According to the International Energy Agency, despite some upswing in consumption in recent months, the world's demand for natural gas is set to see its biggest drop on record in 2020. 'The global natural gas demand is set to decline by three per cent, or by 120 billion cubic metres, this year, the largest drop ever,' the IEA said in its new report, Global Gas Security Review 2020.