The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) countries are set to invest about $755 billion in energy projects over the next five years despite plunging oil prices, according to a report.

The Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (Apicorp) said its projection for the 2015-19 period was only slightly below $760 billion that it forecast for 2014-18, although estimates for the coming period have been slightly inflated by an increase in project costs, reported the Oman Observer.

About 31% of the investment spend will be on oil projects, while gas will account for about 27% of the spend, it said.

The remaining investment of about $316 billion will be in power generation to meet soaring demand for electricity, which is heavily subsidised in most regional states, said Apicorp, the development bank of the Organisation of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries.

The region’s top investor Saudi Arabia is expected to buck the trend with a reduction in capital spending after the completion of a series of mega-projects, it said.

Saudi investments have been projected to fall to $127 billion for 2015-2019 from more than $170 billion for 2014-18.

The fall was attributed to the completion of major upstream oil projects and the diminished opportunities for further downstream mega projects, said the report.

The UAE followed a close second with investment projections of $116 billion, followed by Algeria with $84 billion. Iraq and Iran are forecast to invest about $80 billion and $70 billion, respectively, it added.

Source: Trade Arabia