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Rising Gas Demand in Arab Oil Exporting Countries

Source: Trade Arabia

Dubai: Gas demand in the Arab region has grown faster than oil demand in the past 10 years to peak at 3.34 million barrels of oil equivalent per day last year, according to a study by the 10-nation Organisation of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (Oapec).

The demand is projected to rise to 4.08 million boed in 2010 and to 5.1 million in 2015 before it climbs to a record 6.4 million, an annual growth of 4.4 per cent between 2005 and 2020, the Kuwait-based Oapec said in a report published in the Gulf Daily News.

The growth is expected to expand the share of gas in the Arab energy market to 41.5 per cent in 2005 to 46.2 per cent in 2020.

The expansion will be at the expense of oil products demand, whose share will slide to around 51 per cent from 55.8 per cent in the same period, the study said.

It showed consumption of oil products is projected to grow from about 4.5 million bpd in 2005 to 5.14 million bpd in 2010, to 6.02 million bpd in 2015 and 7.07 million bpd in 2020, an annual growth rate of nearly 3.1 per cent during 2005-20.

'Our projections show that the gas share will continue to grow during that period while the market share of oil products will decline,' the Oapec spokesman said.

As for the total energy consumption, it is forecast to increase from 8.05 million boed in 2005 to 9.46 million in 2010, to 11.44 million in 2015 and 13.85 million in 2020, an average annual growth rate of 3.7 per cent.

Saudi Arabia is expected to consume nearly a quarter of the total Arab energy demand in 2020 as its consumption is forecast to climb from 2.1 million bpd in 2005 to 3.47 million bpd in 2020.

'As for per capita energy consumption in the Arab world, it is projected to grow by 2.1 per cent to around 12.8 boed in 2020 from 9.4 ebpd in 2005 despite a rapid growth in the population,' the study said.

'This increase will be a natural result of economic growth and plans by regional states to rely more on gas in their energy consumption mainly in industries, domestic use and power generation.'

In a separate study, Oapec said combined Arab gas exports have soared by more than 25 per cent over the past five years, leaping from 83,043 million cubic metres in 2000 to a record 104,770 million cubic metres in 2005.

The bulk of the increase was in Qatar, with its exports of natural and liquefied natural gas jumping from around 14,040 million cubic metres to 24,060 million cubic metres.

Qatar controls the third largest gas resources in the world after those of Russia and Iran, estimated at over 25 trillion cubic metres at the end of 2005.

The Gulf producer has embarked on mega projects to tap its mammoth North Field and become the world's number one in LNG exports, which have already exceeded 25 million tonnes a year and are projected to climb to 77 million tonnes in 2011.



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