Saudis Don’t Forecast Gas Exports Anytime Soon
Saudi Arabia intends to use additional natural gas production anticipated from the kingdom’s multi-billion dollar energy opening to meet rising domestic and industrial consumption, a senior oil ministry official said on February 12th.
Prince Faisal bin Turki bin Abdul-Aziz, a senior advisor at the Saudi oil ministry, indicated that the kingdom wanted to secure sufficient domestic supplies at competitive prices.
Prince Faisal said that: “We are ruling out exports of LNG [liquefied natural gas] at the moment and for the foreseeable future. There is good demand in Saudi Arabia and domestic demand far outstrips the need for exports.”
He said that domestic gas demand was expected to grow by more than 8 billion cubic feet per day (bcf/d) by 2012 from over 3 bcf/d in 2000, and a sizeable increase in non-associated gas production will be needed for power generation, desalination and water supply projects, as well as for the OPEC producer’s booming petrochemicals industry.
Total gas demand in the kingdom should more than quadruple over the next 25 years, and additional production will be key in satisfying domestic demand.
Saudi Arabia had short listed international energy firms, including Exxon Mobil Corp., Royal Dutch/Shell, BP Amoco, TotalFinaElf, Phillips Petroleum Co., Chevron Corp., Texaco Inc., Conoco Inc., Eni, Marathon Oil Co. and a joint venture between Enron Corp. and Occidental Petroleum Corp., last summer to participate in the three core gas projects on offer under the kingdom’s energy sector opening.
Memorandums of understanding covering the projects are expected to be signed in April, with final deals possible by the end of 2001.
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)