Rising Natural Gas Demand
Natural gas demand is growing on a global scale at an average of 1.6% a year to reach 4.3 trillion cubic metres in 2023, led by Chinese consumption which will account for over a third of the demand growth during the period, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).
The Asia-Pacific region would contribute to the largest source of gas demand growth in the medium-term with an average of 4% per year, and will account for around 60% of the total consumption increase until 2024. The industrial sector is expected to account for almost half of the global increase in gas consumption.
The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region also remains a key growth region, with gas demand growing 2% annually over the next 5 years. Led by rising domestic gas demand for household, power generation and petrochemical applications, MENA region will have an estimated $186 billion investment in gas projects until 2023, says Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (Apicorp).
GCC natural gas market will exceed $50 billion by 2024. Saudi Arabia leads with about $22.7 billion worth of gas projects under execution, accounting for 36% of total gas projects under execution in the region. The major project underway is the Marjan and Berri increment gas field development projects, for which $18 billion combined oil and gas contracts have been awarded recently. Saudi Aramco’s gas development program is expected to attract as much as $150 billion in investment over the next decade, said Amin H. Nasser, the President and CEO of Aramco.
Qatar and UAE’s natural gas market is projected to witness significant growth. Qatar will remain the highest gas exporter and will see a jump in LNG exports as the North Field natural-gas condensate project ramps up. The field has the world's largest gas reserves and is said to hold an estimated 1,800 TCF of in-situ gas majorly shared by Iran and Qatar. Oman is set to increase gas production to approximately 130 million cubic metres per day by 2025, shifting Oman’s oil-gas production mix from about 35% gas in 2015 to over 50% in 2025.
Abundant reserves with high-margin and low-cost development opportunities propel the development of gas fields. The strengthened gas market sets the stage for robust project activity once again in the region.