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    Middle East Gas Output to Exceed Russia this Year: Rystad


And a new book published by the Oxford Institute of Energy Studies examines the future prospects for the region's output.

by: William Powell

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Middle East Gas Output to Exceed Russia this Year: Rystad

The Middle East is cruising into the second half of 2019 with spectacular gas production, and is expected to surpass powerhouse Russia by the end of the year, according to research by Rystad Energy August 16.

It sees Russian output rising as more LNG plants come on line, fed by new reserves in the Yamal and Gydan peninsulas; but this is offset somewhat by declining output from the giants, Yamburg and Urengoi. The overall result is a flat line more or less until late next decade, at around 700bn m³/yr.

The Middle Eastern region however will produce over 730bn m³ in 2020, increasing to about 920bn m³ in 2030, the consultancy forecasts. 

Nevertheless, international markets may not feel the full effect as demand in the region is also expected to see rapid growth. Iran and Saudi Arabia alone could absorb more than half the region’s production by 2030. Qatar will remain the highest gas exporter in the region and will see a jump in LNG exports as the North Field project ramps up. Exports from Israel are also expected to grow rapidly which could primarily benefit the European market, it said.

The region's gas production growth will depend on a number of uncertain, mostly political, factors, according to a new book published by the Oxford Institute of Energy Studies, edited by Jonathan Stern. These include the willingness of governments to reward production from challengingly tight or sour reservoirs and the extent to which gas can replace oil in order to free oil up for export.

The Future of Gas in the Gulf: Continuity and Change (248 pp, £50)comprises reports on eight countries – Qatar, Iran, Oman, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Iraq and Bahrain – and sees the region as a hotspot for gas demand and supply growth. Three of the countries will rely on gas to achieve their nationally determined contributions under the COP 21 Paris Agreement.

Those eight produced 795.18bn m³ in 2017, according to Cedigaz, of which 67.28bn m³ were reinjected and about 100bn m³ were flared or lost in the pipelines, leaving marketed production at 624.4bn m³.