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GCC will need 440 bcm gas by 2015

 

A Gulf Organisation of Industrial Consulting (Goic) study has shown that demand for gas in the GCC region will be 300 billion cubic metres (bcm) in 2010, a figure that is set to zoom to 440 bcm by 2015.

This was stated yesterday by Hamid D Jafar, Executive Chairman of the Sharjah-based Dana Gas in his keynote private sector address at the 12th Annual Middle East Gas Summit (Megas) being held at the Marriott Hotel here.

Dana Gas is the Middle East's first regional and private sector natural gas company.

Jafar said: "Despite a net surplus when the region is taken as a whole, the reality is that several Gulf countries today have a significant and growing gas deficit, including the UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and Saudi Arabia as well as countries like Lebanon and Jordan."
 


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Regionally, the demand can be met by countries like Qatar and Iran as also Egypt to some extent and Algeria. "But all these countries will face competing demands for their now-precious resource between domestic consumption and export options, whether though pipeline, LNG or alternatives such as gas-to-liquids (GTL)," he said.

Jafar stated that the private sector has much to offer in the gas business. "The gas business is in many ways less politically sensitive than oil and is not bogged down in such issues as Opec quotas and the international politics of oil supply policy and pricing."

He added: "In fact, often gas requires a long-term cross-border market, whether local or international, and this naturally lends itself to private sector participation, where a politically neutral commercial approach can facilitate cross-border projects that do not otherwise happen easily between two governments."

Another factor that called for increasing private sector participation was the natural gas business has close linkages to gas-utilisation industries like power generation and petrochemicals, where the private sector is playing an increasingly greater role.

The private sector can also throw in its expertise due to marketing ability, local relationships and business development creativity, said the official.

Private sector firms by and large would also not have a problem in raising capital. "For instance, Dana Gas' regional initial public offering (IPO) just over a year ago was oversubscribed by 144 times, raising $78bn in barely ten days, and this example is by no means unique," he said.


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