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Middle East gas production to jump by almost 20% by 2030

05 May 2023

The Middle East is set to spend as much as $120 billion (£105bn) to increase gas production by 14 billion standard cubic feet a day (bcfd) to 86 bcfd by 2030, according to a new report by energy research and consultancy firm Wood Mackenzie.

Image: Wood Mackenzie
Image: Wood Mackenzie

The report ‘The Middle East steps on the gas’ states gas supply growth in the Middle East is a compelling opportunity given the competition to supply Europe with the volumes lost from Russia since the Ukraine invasion.

The expected uptick in production is equivalent to the gas consumption of the entire European power sector and could help energy companies solve the energy trilemma of sustainability, security and affordability.

Around half of the 14 bcfd increase will be made available for export, which could have a game-changing effect on the global gas markets, especially as the LNG liquefaction capacity in the Middle East keeps growing. The other half will be absorbed by domestic demand growth.

“The Middle East can be part of the solution for the global gas markets as the region continues to ramp up production from its gigantic gas reserves,” says Alexandre Araman, Principal Analyst for Middle East Upstream at Wood Mackenzie. “To fulfil the level of production growth that we have predicted, investments in non-associated gas projects are set to reach a record $25 billion this year and a cumulative total of $120 billion by the end of the decade.”

Qatar LNG exports should reach 126 million tonnes per annum (mmtpa) by 2030, while Abu Dhabi should be able to export 15.4 mmtpa after its new LNG facility comes onstream in 2028.

The report adds that for international companies, gas projects in the region present attractive opportunities. Gas accounts for barely 35% of their Middle East production mix but generates more than 70% of the value. Fifty per cent of the value figure is created in the global LNG powerhouse of Qatar by three companies: ExxonMobil, Shell and TotalEnergies.

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