Regional upstream investment up 9%

GCC's $200 billion-plus E&P projects drive fresh investment prospects throughout energy value chain

Upstream investment has seen major infrastructure projects bloom in Qatar.
Upstream investment has seen major infrastructure projects bloom in Qatar.
Major projects are underway to bring more production capacity online.
Major projects are underway to bring more production capacity online.

GCC's $200 billion-plus E&P projects drive fresh investment prospects throughout energy value chain

Upstream investments across the GCC have surged 9% since June 2008, in spite of the flagging oil price. Critical investment in field expansion and a boom in offshore exploration have driven up industry spend from US$188 billion in June 2008 to a current estimate of $204 billion.

Published statistics from Proleads have indicated that the UAE, home to the fifth largest oil reserves in the Middle East, accounts for the highest increase in upstream oil and gas investments, pushing expenditure by 30% to $55 billion from $42 billion.

Qatar has likewise upped oil and gas investments from $7 billion to $10 billion, including an 11% increase in upstream gas investments, while Kuwait, the most hydrocarbon-reliant country in the GCC, has raised its CAPEX budget to $40 billion, up from $34 billion.

Bahrain has been reported to be focusing its attention towards drilling deeper oil reserves, while Oman has been targeting to expand crude oil production to 800,000 barrels per day (bpd), up from its current rate of 750,000 bpd.

Saudi Arabia, the world's largest exporter of crude oil, has unveiled a strategy to access more than 720 billion barrels of discovered oil resources.

The Proleads data confirmed a marked surge in upstream oil and gas investments, counting 265 projects in January 2009 or a 10.9% increase from just 239 in June 2008.

Capitalising on the hotbed of activity in the UAE, OGS 2009 will be held in October at the Dubai convention and exhibition centre.

"The oil and gas sector will remain a very important economic driver in the region and a critical resource for the global economy. As such, despite recent economic challenges, it is only natural for the GCC to continue its oil and gas investments, particularly in exploration and development projects to replenish declining reserves, replace and upgrade deteriorating assets and ensure long-term supply,” explained Anselm Godinho, managing director, IC&E, the organisers of OGS.

“With a renewed and expanded format for the oil and gas segment, OGS 2009 has been positioned to provide a strategic link between the upstream and downstream value chains, enabling industry players to optimise business opportunities, create new partner networks and synergise to overcome new challenges," added Godhino.

The Dubai event will be the 16th edition of the oil, gas, and renewable energy event, at which Godhino says he expects a sharp surge in participation as a result of the growing regional focus on upstream oil projects.
 

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