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05 October 2023

Arabs have much more gas

Proven gas reserves were put at 3.17 tcm in Iraq, 2.1 tcm in Egypt, 1.78 tcm in Kuwait, 1.5 tcm in Libya, 0.98 tcm in Oman and 0.62 tcm in Yemen. (SUPPLIED)

By Staff

Arab countries are sitting atop much more gas resources than is believed as massive quantities of natural gas have remained undiscovered under their land, a key Arab oil investment group has said.

Proven gas reserves in the Gulf and other parts of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) stood at around 84.5 trillion cubic metres (tcm) at the start of 2010 but nearly 39.6 tcm in extra resources are undiscovered, said the Dammam-based Arab Petroleum Investment Corporation (Apicorp), an affiliate of the 10-nation Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC).

Saudi Arabia, the world’s dominant oil power, has the highest rate of undiscovered gas wealth, estimated at around 19.2 tcm, it said in a study sent to Emirates 24/7.

Presented by Apicorp’s chief economist Ali Aissaoui to an energy conference in Beirut, it showed Iran had around 8.9 tcm in undiscovered gas deposits while they were estimated at 3.39 tcm in Iraq, 1.38 tcm in Algeria, 1.26 tcm in the UAE, around 1.6 tcm in Qatar and 0.95 tcm in Oman.

Countries with undiscovered gas deposits of below one tcm include Yemen with around 0.6 tcm, Libya with 0.59 tcm, Egypt with 0.57 tcm and Sudan, Bahrain, Kuwait and Tunisia, ranging between 0.2 and 0.4 tcm.

The report showed Iran holds the largest recoverable gas resources in MENA, estimated at 29.6 tcm. It was followed by Qatar with 25.3 tcm, Saudi Arabia, with nearly 7.9 tcm, the UAE with 6.4 tcm and Algeria with 4.5 tcm.

Proven gas reserves were put at 3.17 tcm in Iraq, 2.1 tcm in Egypt, 1.78 tcm in Kuwait, 1.5 tcm in Libya, 0.98 tcm in Oman and 0.62 tcm in Yemen.

The study estimated MENA’s cumulative gas production at 8.4 tcm, including 1.86 tcm in Algeria, nearly 1.7 tcm in Iran, 1.32 tcm in Saudi Arabia, 0.92 tcm in the UAE, 0.69 tcm in Qatar, 0.58 tcm in Egypt and 0.24 tcm in Oman.

It showed Qatar had the highest gas-to-oil reserve ratio in the region, standing at around 0.86 per cent. It was followed by Egypt with a ratio of 0.77 per cent.

The ratio was estimated at 0.69 per cent in Tunisia, 0.59 per cent in Iran, 0.55 per cent in Yemen, 0.54 per cent in Oman and 0.43 per cent in Syria.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE have one of the lowest ratios of 0.17 per cent and 0.13 per cent respectively given their massive crude resources.

In a previous study, OAPEC noted that the Arab region also holds massive undiscovered oil deposits, estimated at around 175 billion barrels plus nearly 678 billion barrels of gas liquids.

In the UAE, the undiscovered reserves were put at around 7.7 billion barrels of crude oil and 2.4 billion of gas liquids. They were estimated at 87.1 billion barrels of crude and 48.9 billion barrels of gas liquids in Saudi Arabia.

In Kuwait, undiscovered reserves were estimated at about 3.8 billion barrels of crude and around 0.2 billion barrels of gas liquids. In Iraq, they were put at 54.1 billion barrels of oil and around 6.2 billion barrels of gas liquids.