The Mena region needs at least $320 billion in investment in the oil and gas sector over the next five years, said an industry expert, adding that the private sector can be an important partner in this effort.
New investment models will encourage optimal development in the oil and gas sector, noted Majid Jafar, CEO of Sharjah-based Crescent Petroleum, speaking at the Opec Seminar in Vienna, Austria.
The private sector in Mena can be an important partner in oil and gas development, helping boost competitiveness in the industry, he added. .
“We need new investment models that will create the right incentives for upstream investment in exploration in new areas, enhanced recovery from mature fields, and gas development, where the region continues to lag despite growing demand from the regional power and industry,” Jafar said.
Jafar, who leads the Middle East's oldest private oil and gas company and serves as vice-chairman of the Crescent Group of companies, was speaking at the 7th Opec International Seminar in Vienna, Austria.
More than 750 participants, including ministers, industry leaders and experts gathered at the Imperial Hofburg Palace in Vienna to discuss the global energy outlook, market stability, oil investments, technology, and the state of the world economy.
“The Middle East has over half the world’s proven oil & gas reserves but represents only a third of the oil market and a sixth of the gas market today, so we have yet to fulfill our potential as a region,” Jafar said, speaking on the panel entitled “Investment in the Oil Industry”, along with the oil ministers of Iraq and Kuwait, and international industry leaders from the public and private sectors.
“Our industry worldwide must also do better at explaining how responsible development and utilization of oil and gas can support the transition to a more sustainable economy,” he said.
“The switch from coal to gas-fired power generation, which emits half the volume of CO2, may have the greatest impact on lowering carbon footprint.
“That is why we firmly believe that the oil & gas sectors will continue to play a vital role in meeting world’s energy needs for transportation and power generation going forward, complementing renewables and other energy sources,” he added.
“I’m honoured to have joined industry leaders and experts as we debated the greatest challenges facing the energy sector and the regional economy. The Middle East is a major source of the world’s proven gas reserves and is also becoming a key consumer of both oil and gas. Our prosperity is incumbent upon our ability to anticipate and respond to the dramatic changes in world energy demand,” Jafar concluded.
Crescent Petroleum is the oldest private oil and gas company in the Middle East, with over 40 years of experience as an international operator in countries including Egypt, Pakistan, Yemen, Canada, Montenegro, Tunisia, Argentina, UAE and Iraq.