An increase in the gas reserves of Iran, the United States and former Soviet Union boosted the world’s total resources of natural gas by nearly 21 trillion cubic metres (tcm) at the end of 2011, with the UAE remaining the 7th largest gas power, According to official Arab data.
Russia maintained its dominance of the global gas map while Iran and Qatar retained their positions as second and third respectively.
The UAE, the second largest Arab economy, controlled an estimated six tcm as it was also preceded by Saudi Arabia, the US and Turkmenistan.
From around 172.9 tcm at the end of 2007, the world’s total proven gas resources surged to their highest level of nearly 193.8 tcm at the end of 2011, showed the figures by the Kuwaiti-based Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC), a key Arab League establishment.
A breakdown showed Iran recorded the biggest single increase its gas deposits, which swelled to a record high of 33 tcm from 26.8 tcm.
Turkmenistan’s gas wealth soared to around 7.5 tcm while that of the US grew to nearly 7.7 tcm from 5.9 tcm in the same period.
Group-wise, the report showed the gas reserves of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), which comprises Russia and other former Soviet republics, rose to 61.3 tcm from about 57 tcm.
The Arab gas wealth recorded a modest increase to around 54.6 tcm from 54.-6 tcm in the same period after a rapid growth in the previous two decades.
The report showed Russia’s gas deposits remained unchanged at around 47.5 tcm, nearly a quarter of the world’s total gas wealth.
Qatar’s gas wealth slipped slightly to about 25.2 tcm from 25.6 tcm while Saudi Arabia’s gas resources rose to 8.01 tcm from 7.3 tcm.
Those of the UAE remained at around 6.09 tcm, accounting for 3.1 per cent of the world’s total.
As for exports, Qatar emerged as the world’s dominant supplier of liquefied natural gas, with around 77 million tonnes per year. The Gulf country also has the world’s largest single reservoir of non-associated gas in its mammoth offshore North Field, which is now fueling its economy.