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Saudis Plan To Link UAE, Kuwait, Oman In Regional Gas Grid

Aramco Pipeline

Saudi Arabia is discussing the possibility to have one interconnected natural gas grid in the region that would exchange gas and export the Kingdom’s gas to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kuwait, and Oman, Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said on Tuesday.

“I am talking to my colleagues in Oman, Kuwait, UAE, about extending a gas grid in the region and we hope to exchange gas and we also have excess of gas which we will be exporting,” Gulf News quoted al-Falih as saying at the World Future Energy summit in Abu Dhabi.

As Saudi Arabia aims to develop more of its natural gas resources, it will seek to export more of its gas to its allies in the region.

“We’ve already exported gas on a commercial basis to the UAE so more of this interconnection in energy is going to take place and, importantly, also in trading of knowhow in technology and development with renewables,” al-Falih was quoted as saying.

The UAE is currently importing gas from Qatar via the Dolphin gas pipeline, which continued operations even after the UAE and Saudi Arabia, alongside Egypt and Bahrain, severed ties with Qatar in June 2017, accusing Doha of sponsoring terrorism.

The tiny country Qatar, which is the world’s largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporter but a relatively small crude oil producer, said last month that it was leaving OPEC effective January 1, 2019, as part of a strategic plan to focus on its gas reserves and development.

Saudi Arabia, for its part, has identified a lot of gas reserves and will be developing them, aiming to eliminate the burning of crude oil and liquids at utilities—currently a typical power plant fuel in the Kingdom—by 2030, in order to free up more crude oil for exports, Gulf News quoted minister al-Falih as saying.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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  • John Di Laccii on January 16 2019 said:
    Saudis may linik whatewer they want, their fortune is going down the drain. If nothing hapens in 6 month, then never will. Sad news alhamdulillah. Groving markets are looking now to another source of black gold. They can start attacking pipelines in Dakota, maybe that will help.Hm, well Qatar is near....
  • Mamdouh Salameh on January 15 2019 said:
    This is a brilliant idea by the Saudi oil minister Khalid Al-Falih. It will revolutionize the economies of the Arab Gulf countries.

    However, may I respectfully suggest to the Saudi oil minister that including Qatar in the interconnected gas grid will generate far bigger economic, financial and geopolitical benefits for countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). This will strengthen the GCC.

    It will also accelerate the diversification of their economies by replacing oil in electricity generation and water desalination plants with natural gas in addition to solar power and nuclear energy.

    Financially, it will release a huge volumes of oil currently used for electricity generation and water desalination for export thus enhancing their revenues. Economically, it will create one of the world’s biggest gas markets.

    And geopolitically, it will enable the GCC (including Qatar) to more than match Iran’s gas prowess in terms of proven gas reserves and exports.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Visiting Professor of Energy Economics at ESCP Europe Business School, London

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