MENA region’s gas investment to hit $75bn in five years: APICORP

By Amirtha P S, Desk Reporter
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The committed gas investments in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region for 2021-2025 are estimated to reach a total of $75 billion, Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (APICORP) said in its annual outlook.

According to the “MENA Energy Investment Outlook, 2021-2025” of APICORP, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq are the top three countries in the region in terms of committed gas investments.

The ranking is on account of Qatar’s North Field East megaproject, Saudi Arabia’s gas-to-power drive and the massive Jafurah unconventional gas development which is poised to make the kingdom a global blue hydrogen exporter with an estimated budget of $100 billion and Iraq’s gas-to-power projects and determination to cut flaring and greenhouse gas emissions.

The committed gas investments in MENA for the period 2021-2025 are $9.5 billion less than the previous outlook, APICORP said. The decline is attributed to the completion of several mega projects in 2020 and countries being more cautious about new project commitments in an era of gas overcapacity.

“For hydrocarbons producers, this decade might prove to be the last window for the low-cost producers to firmly re-establish their market share, particularly Saudi Arabia and Qatar,” APICORP said in the report.

A few countries, like Saudi Arabia and Morocco, have already started exporting low-cost blue and green hydrogen, net-zero ammonia and other low-carbon products, while other countries, such as Oman, UAE, and Egypt are attempting to catch up, the report added.

According to APICORP, planned investments in the MENA petrochemicals sector are forecast to increase to $109 billion in 2021-2025, a $14.2 billion jump compared to last year’s outlook. By contrast, committed investments dipped by $7.7 billion to around $12.5 billion due to the completion of several mega projects in 2020.

Despite MENA petrochemical markets seeing an overall improvement in demand owing to the increased consumption of basic materials as economies recover, some of the region’s committed petrochemical investments are nonetheless being re-evaluated and rationalized due to fiscal strains, capital discipline and cost efficiencies and evolving market dynamics, APICORP added.

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