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Arab states urged to develop non-conventional gas sources

By Nadim Kawach

Arab nations should join other countries in developing their own non-conventional gas sources to maximise their existing reserves of natural gas, according to their main oil group.

Although the region has one of the largest gas wealth in the world, Arab gas producers can still embark on programmes to benefit from new techniques in the development of non-conventional gas sources, said the 10-nation Organisation of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (Oapec).

Writing in its monthly bulletin, obtained at the World Future Energy Summit, Oapec Secretary-General Abbas Naqi said gas production from non-conventional sources has witnessed significant developments and several major gas consuming countries are pushing ahead with plans to increase their share of that gas. He said these countries have been encouraged by the development of recovery techniques for their non-conventional gas resources, adding this would allow them to sustain world gas supplies at a time when there is an urgent need for clean energy sources.

According to Naqi, the United States has emerged as the main producer and consumer of natural gas from non-conventional sources. In 2008, this type of gas accounted for about 51 per cent of the total US natural gas production, he said.

In the Arab World, Saudi Arabia has put in place intensive programmes for exploring and developing these sources in association with global research and development centres. Moreover, Algeria has indicated an interest in developing these sources through new development contracts that it has concluded with international firms, Naqi said.

"The Secretariat keeps track of these developments in techniques for producing natural gas from non-conventional sources and hopes Oapec members will be able to benefit from the opportunities offered by such techniques."


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