Fuelling economic transition
The Middle East & North Africa region is a dominant player in the world energy market today. It holds approximately over 50% of the world’s proven fossil fuel reserves. Next to the continuing investments in downstream assets, partnerships and technology, the national oil and gas companies also aspire to expand their involvement in international O&G projects. Strong partnerships, new technology and access to debt markets are being developed to maximize success rates.
The region is significantly challenged by the large dependence on finite fossil fuel resources in its primary energy supply. Over the past 20 years, the total primary energy demand in the Middle has almost tripled due to rapid population growth and economic development. Most of the growing energy demand was concentrated in 5 countries, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Kuwait, and the UAE. Notably, electricity demand in the Middle East may triple by 2050, accelerating the growth of renewable energy and triggering the diversification of economies away from fossil fuels. Oil & gas related industries are the largest contributor to overall GDP in the MENA region and although economic diversification strategies are being executed it is foreseen that fossil resources will remain a dominant factor for in-country value creation.
Electricity, gasoline, and water subsidies are widespread, still driving high consumption per capita and draining government finances. Near- and mid-term renewables expansion will mostly be for satisfying growing domestic needs, to support the growing demand for fossil energy, and to diversify from fossil fuel. The coming decades to 2050 hold significant uncertainties. These are notably in areas such as regional political instability; socio-economic development; future energy policies; transition towards cleaner fossil sources; emerging alternative energy sources; human behaviour and response to policies; the pace of technological progress; and trends in the pricing of existing and new technologies.