Qatar, the largest exporter of natural gas in the world, has witnessed a steep rise of 40% in its gas consumption over the last five years, Reuters reported.

According to BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2016 report, gas consumption in Qatar stood at 32.1bcm in 2010 which jumped to 45.2bcm in 2015. Compared to previous year, the consumption rose by 13.8%, the highest growth in the  Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region. The country consumed 39.7bcm natural gas in 2014, according to Hellenic Shipping News. Increasing population and rapid expansion of the country’s infrastructure are the main drivers behind the surge in consumption as gas is used for power generation and water desalination.

In related news, the Middle East’s gas consumption grew from 461.4bcm in 2014 to 490.2bcm in 2015, with global consumption expecting to reach 203Tcf by 2040 as per the International Energy Outlook 2016 report. In August, Egypt Oil&Gas reported that countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) led by Egypt, Kuwait, and Morocco, are seeking to boost their liquefied natural gas (LNG) import capacity, taking advantage of low prices to meet rising energy demand. The region is forecast to become the world’s second-largest gas-importing area by 2040, with investments reaching $10.3b.