The UAE is recording the highest growth in energy consumption in the Arab world given its rapid population rise and a steady expansion in non-hydrocarbon sectors, according to official figures.
Energy demand in the UAE, the largest economy in the region after Saudi Arabia, surged by around 38 per cent to 1.446 million equivalent barrels per day (ebpd) in 2009 from 1.057 million ebpd in 2006, according to the 10-nation Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC).
The rate is much higher than growth in the total Arab energy consumption of nearly 24.5 per cent during that period, the Kuwaiti-based OAPEC said in its annual Arab energy report, released this week.
At that level, the UAE accounted for nearly 13.2 per cent of the combined Arab energy demand in 2009 although its population of about five million did not exceed 1.5 per cent of the total Arab population, the figures showed.
“Energy demand in the UAE has recorded high growth over the past 10 years because of its rapid population growth and a steady expansion in non-hydrocarbon sectors, mainly industry,” a UAE economist said.
Saudi Arabia, the largest economy in the Middle East, was also the largest energy consumer, with domestic demand standing at 3.032 million ebpd in 2009.
The UAE emerged as the second largest Arab energy consumer while Egypt was third, with a round 1.36 million ebpd.
Other key consumers in the Arab world include Algeria with about 896,000 ebpd, Iraq with 662,000 ebpd, Qatar with 632,000 ebpd and Kuwait with 515,000 ebpd.
A breakdown showed the UAE also recorded the highest growth in gas consumption, which leaped by nearly 43 per cent to 1,100 ebpd in 2009, largely exceeding its oil consumption of around 346,000 bpd.
Gas consumption stood at 1,200 ebpd in Saudi Arabia, 540,000 ebpd in Qatar, 580,000 ebpd in Egypt, 520,000 ebpd in Algeria, around 260,000 ebpd in each Bahrain and Libya and nearly 177,000 ebpd in Iraq.
Saudi Arabia also emerged as the largest Arab consumer of oil, with its demand peaking at nearly 1.83 million bpd in 2009. It was followed by Egypt with 679,000 bpd, Iraq 480,000 bpd, Kuwait 40,000 bpd, UAE 346,000 bpd, Syria nearly 297,000 bpd and Libya 236,000 bpd.
The report showed total Arab gas consumption grew by around 25.7 per cent to 4.952 million ebpd in 2009 from 3.939 million ebpd in 2006. Oil demand grew at a slower rate of about 23 per cent to 5.682 million bpd from 4.621 million bpd.
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