Natural Gas distribution continues to occupy major importance in MENA region as it is considered one of the investment priorities of the country

Dr. Muhammad –Ali Zainy, Senior Energy Economist and Analyst in the Center for Global Energy Studies told Egypt Oil& Gas that Iraq makes more profits from exporting oil than from exporting gas, that’s why it applies the strategy of rational domestic utilization of gas.

This came during the event of MENA Natural Gas Distribution Summit 2010, held last month in Cairo, from 18th to 20th of January under the auspices of Eng. Sameh Fahmy, Egyptian Minister of Petroleum. The summit discussed Egypt’s position in the central and distinct global gas industry, also the importance of continuing to intensify efforts to explore for oil and gas in all areas of Egypt in cooperation with major international oil companies.

Zainy added that it is also cheaper to generate electricity by using gas than using oil. Also, it reduces the emission of carbon, which is better for the environment and help resisting global warming.

There are also two ways to revive the Iraqi economy as natural gas can be industrialized to produce petrochemicals, which could be sold for higher prices.  The Iraqi analyst added that cooperation between Egypt and Iraq can occur in the area of oil and gas investment through the establishment of joint ventures between the two countries and the exchange of expertise, as Iraq lost most of its experts during the former rule of President Saddam Hussein.

In his opening speech, Eng. Sameh Fahmy highlighted that the most important achievements made over the past ten years are the increase of proven reserves of natural gas to about 77.2 trillion cubic feet and the high volume of production of natural gas to exceed the 45.8 million tons. He also referred to the efforts of the petroleum sector to meet the increase of consumption rate.The speech, which was addressed On behalf of the Minister by Eng. Mahmoud Latif, Chairman of the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS), pointed out that the South Valley Pipeline which extends to 930 kilometers to Aswan would contribute to achieving a cultural shift in different parts of Upper Egypt.
The MENA region owns about 46% of the world’s natural gas reserves. Whether it is the major structures in the Arabian Iranian Basin or the reservoir formation off Qatar, the natural gas potential this region holds is limitless.

The conference was characterized by a series of very enriching sessions that tackled critical topics like Government Policies: Investment & Govt. stability, Gas Utilization and Regulatory Environment, Fiscal Regime, Gas supplies and gas grid development, Gas Market Development, Technical Aspects, CNG and Biomethane. Those sessions were given by punch of top corporations like EGAS, BP Gas Asia& Middle East, Emarat UAE, Crisil Risk& Infrastructure Solutions Limited, GASCO, GAIL (India) Limited, IGL, TAQA GAS, Egusco part of TAQA, CNG Services LTD.

The summit is an effort by Fleming Gulf to help disseminate knowledge about key positional assets; major players & effective buy options that could ultimately provide critical competitive advantages to serve markets in the future. It is an open platform where industry players will come together and plan to successfully navigate this growing market.

By Christine Nabil