The MENA region is forecast to become the world’s second-largest gas-importing area by 2040, as the countries invest around $10.3b in LNG-importing facilities, Hellenic Shipping News reported. The move comes in light of boosting consumption of natural gas in the Middle East, which is expected to rise from 480 bcm in 2015 to over 700 bcm in 2040.

According to Oil & Gas Journal, MENA has extensive LNG developments in the pipeline. The UAE plans for a chartered FSRU at Ruwais, Abu Dhabi. Kuwait, the Gulf’s first LNG importer, plans a permanent terminal at Mina Al-Ahmadi with a capacity of 15 bcm/y, and the possibility of doubling its output. Bahrain plans for an LNG terminal with a capacity of 4.1 bcm/y, expandable to 8.2 bcm/y.

Saudi Arabia has indicated it might use LNG to supplement its gas supply. The kingdom wants to raise the gas share of power-generation fuel to 70% by 2030, up from 50% at present, in order to replace oil.

Egypt, once an exporter of natural gas, imported 1.67 bcm of gas in the first quarter of 2016. The country’s demand is expected to exceed supply by 2 bcm/y by 2021, despite predicted outputs from the offshore Zohr natural gas discovery.