According to the Gas Investments Outlook 2019-2023 released by the Arab Petroleum Investment Corporation (Apicorp), petrochemical investments in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region are expected to drop by $70 billion over the upcoming five years, according to Khaleeji Times.

On the other hand, Qatar and the UAE are anticipated to see a surge in their downstream natural gas investments by around 50% compared to the previous 2018-2022 outlook.

Moreover, the outlook remarked that the investment decline anticipated in the MENA region is mainly because of high global natural gas output, slowing regional demand and financing issues. In addition to that, the drop is mostly noticed in Kuwait (close to 80%), Saudi Arabia (60%), and Algeria and Iran (around 50%).

According to a recent research, the oil, gas, and petrochemical projects that are being implemented or planned are valued at more than $859 billion. Of which, $283 billion projects are being implemented to meet the region’s expected increase in demand for energy over the next two decades.

It is worth mentioning that Saudi Aramco, the region’s leading in the oil and gas sector, has 31 billion worth of contracts under execution. Followed by Kuwait’s three largest oil and gas companies with a combined $42.2 billion worth of projects underway. Adding to them, the under-execution projects of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) which worth around $16.7 billion.

Ahmed Attiga, Apicorp CEO pointed out that petrochemical projects take only 29% of governments’ investments, while the larger part comes from the private sector, adding that “this involvement is expected to expand given the increasing share of planned petrochemicals and other downstream gas projects estimated at $134 billion – or 71% – in the overall gas value chain versus upstream and midstream.”