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ARAB NATIONS OIL & GAS


A wealth of resources T


he record oil prices of 2007−2008 gave producers windfall profits and helped drive substantial development and investment nationally and internationally.


Concern about the drop in prices from almost US$150 a


barrel to just over $30 a barrel and the consequent impact on government budgets was short-lived, with the subsequent movement in prices to $70-80. This is in line with Saudi Arabia’s declared ‘fair price’ and appears to be providing exporting countries with more than sufficient revenue to cover budgets and project financing while not adversely affecting economic growth of importing countries. Low oil prices in the Arab world also have a major potential


social impact, as most countries need current revenue flows to finance widespread education and economic reforms to create a more employable workforce and jobs for their young populations, and more housing and associated social infrastructure to support better living conditions. In addition, if oil exporters have to slash public spending,


it would hamper growth in oil importers by lowering remittances sent home by foreign workers. This is a significant foreign exchange source for half the Middle East countries (often greater than FDI) and especially important for Egypt, Jordan and Yemen


MENA fuelling the world MENA (Middle East North Africa) accounts for two thirds of proven global oil reserves and is regarded as the world’s most influential oil province, eclipsing all other regions by some margin. Over the next five years, the region will see strong growth in hydrocarbon production as the world becomes increasingly reliant on oil supplies from the region. Saudi Aramco, ADNOC of Abu Dhabi and Sonatrach of


Algeria are three examples of NOCs investing billions of dollars into improving their businesses and hardly a week goes


Saipem Gimboa FPSO Topside Module Project.


by without at least one of them making an announcement of a multi-billion-dollar contract award.


Saudi expenditure continuing at high levels Saudi Arabia plans to spend $170 billion over the next five years on energy and oil refining projects, $90 billion of which is to come directly from Saudi Aramco. Saudi Arabia is committed to maintaining a large spare


production capacity based on its need to stabilise the market. The country has research and development programs that range from advanced formulas for fuel to the desulphurisation of crude oil, carbon capture and separation, reflecting its commitment towards improving the environmental performance of oil.


Abu Dhabi Abu Dhabi has committed to source seven per cent of its power from renewable energy by 2020. The Emirate is building the world’s first carbon-neutral city (the Masdar project), has an initiative to make use of fossil fuel more sustainable through a capture and storage network, and is also looking to use nuclear energy to help preserve its fossil fuel reserves.


Haradh gas processing line. 86 AUSTRALIA AND THE ARAB COUNTRIES | 2010


Algeria Business Monitor International forecasts a 39.4 per cent increase in Algerian oil and gas liquids production between 2009 and 2019. The country rates highly as a prospective location due to its healthy oil and gas reserves, a large number of non-state companies active in the upstream sector and decent licensing terms.


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