Mideast oil exports to soar 70pc

DUBAI - With Middle East's share of the world oil export is expected to rise to 70 per cent by 2030, Arab world will have to rise to the challenges in the oil refining and petrochemical industries.

By Isaac John

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Published: Thu 20 May 2004, 9:22 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 12:27 AM

According to analysts, oil exports from the Middle East are projected to surge from over 20 million barrels per day to 46 million barrels per day in the next 26 years.

The region's standing in natural gas exports will also get a major boost. Demand for natural gas is expected to rise 3,377 billion cubic metres in 2010 and 5,047 billion cubic metres in 203. According to Mirza Al Sayegh, Enoc's deputy chairman, Middle East's oil and petrochemicals industry will have to ensure global competitiveness since the region will have to provide the bulk of the world oil and petrochemical trade. "Existing petroleum resources are expected to last for about 50 years. We have a moral obligation to conserve the resources for future generations while sustaining economic development," he was quoted in latest issue of Insights.

To meet the challenge, the region's five leading oil powers - the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq and Iran -will be pumping an average $18-20 billion a year into expansion projects that will boost their output to more than 42 million barrels per day before 2007.

This expansion, analysts pointed out, is essential to meet the expected growth in world oil demand, which is forecast to rise by around 45 million bpd to more than 120 million bpd by 2025. In the next four years, these five countries will be pumping some $100 billion into their hydrocarbon sector.

The increase means that the share of these five producers will rise from 28.4 per cent in 2002 to 35 per cent in 2025, while their share of worldwide natural gas production will jump from 12.4 to 20 per cent.

The UAE has invested over $8 billion during the past four years into the oil sector as part of the long-term plan to maintain its current output and expand capacity to nearly four million barrels per day. Investments in the oil sector totalled around Dh30 billion between 1999 and 2002 while more than $2 billion was channelled into the sector last year.

Most of the investment was made by the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company as it is implementing most of the expansion projects in the Emirates.

In the backdrop of a sustained oil price rally, the UAE's oil sector revenue is expected to surpass Dh100 billion mark this year. Government forecasts show that the sector would earn some Dh102.2 billion, which is 9.5 per cent higher than the what was recorded last year.

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