Middle East Gas Sector Needs Further Investment to Fulfil Potential

Published March 29th, 2010 - 07:58 GMT

The Middle East region is still in the comparatively early stages of development of its natural gas sector and has yet to fulfil the full potential of its resources, according to a senior executive from a regional energy firm. Majid Jafar, Executive Director of Crescent Petroleum and a Member of the Board of Dana Gas PJSC, was speaking at the first day of the 14th annual Middle East Gas (MEGAS) Summit, taking place at the Radisson Blu Hotel on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi from the 28th to 31st March 2010. Crescent Petroleum is the Strategic Sponsor of the event.

In his speech to the summit, Majid Jafar pointed out that the Middle East region still accounts for only 12% of global gas production, despite holding 41% of world gas resources. He also highlighted the rapid growth in regional gas demand caused by increasing population and economic growth leading to higher needs for both power plants as well as local industry, and that over US$160 billion of investments are required in the regional gas industry over just the next 5 years, according to the latest study by APICORP.

“Our region is uniquely placed to serve global markets with both oil and gas supplies, and the region itself is also a rapidly growing gas market,” Jafar said in his presentation. “Despite the high resource potential however, many countries in the region currently have a deficit in gas supplies, and the major policy challenges include energy diversification and demand management – most especially the issue of local price subsidies for gas and electricity, leading to high demand and a burden on government budgets,” he added.

MEGAS 2010 is recognised as one of the premier events in the Oil & Gas calendar, and offers panel discussions, roundtables, and interactive activities that allow participants to discuss the significant events of the past year within the sector, and to debate and discuss the expect changes in the short, medium and long-term future. In addition to the substantive debates, MEGAS presents an excellent networking opportunity for all attendees to come together to examine and discuss opportunities for moving forward within the sector.

Speaking of the importance of the event, Jafar said, “With the new paradigm shift in oil prices, the gas business in the region is set for rapid and important growth, with a booming market for the gas supplies necessary to fuel power plants, as well as the large needed investments in the sector of gas-related industries”.

He added, “MEGAS is one of the region’s largest and longest-running industry events, and presents an excellent opportunity for those working in the natural gas and energy sector to come together and share experience, and discuss the future of the industry.”

The topics addressed at this year’s MEGAS include: gas demand trends in international markets; new concepts in LNG shipping and terminal design; safe handling, treatment storage and disposal of sour gas; the impact of the spot market on project finance; the gas potential of Libya, Yemen and Algeria; and prospects for regional economic recovery.

Crescent Petroleum was the first regional, independent, private-sector regional petroleum company to engage in the acquisition, exploration and development of petroleum concessions; and the production and sale of crude oil, petroleum products and natural gas. A particular area of focus for the long-term growth of Crescent Petroleum’s business is the development, marketing and utilization of natural gas assets in the region, a role the company has pioneered since the mid1980s, by successfully implementing the first two cross-border pipeline deals in the region.

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