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World Gas Prospects: Which Role for the Middle East? Perspectives mondiales du gaz naturel : quel r le pourrait jouer le Moyen-Orient ?

DOI: 10.2516/ogst:1999036

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Abstract:

Since the early 1970s, the policies of energy diversification that have been implemented in the industrialized countries and in many developing countries have enabled natural gas to regularly increase its role in the world energy balance. Thus, during the past twenty years, natural gas recorded the highest growth rate among fossil fuels, and its share in the energy market has gradually risen from 18. 9% in 1975 to 23% in 1997. Today, thanks to favorable economic and environmental factors, natural gas has become the fuel of choice on many markets. Indeed, gas is blessed with a certain number of favorable assets (abundant reserves, flexibility, high-performance uses) which give it a major role in all energy demand forecast scenarios. The most spectacular development will indisputably take place in the power generation sector. Endowed with a considerable gas potential, the Middle East will represent an essential source of supply for many industrialized countries and several gas export projects, either by LNG tanker or by pipelines are currently being contemplated. During the past decade, the contribution of natural gas to the energy mix also grew substantially in most Middle Eastern countries. The increase in gas demand should continue at a sustained rate, mainly driven by the power generation sector, petrochemicals and energy consumption by the hydrocarbons industry. These promising prospects for gas demand in most of the markets in the region might lead to the development of an intra-regional network. However, although opportunities exist, the region will have to meet many challenges in order to contribute more largely to the world gas balance in the years to come. de diversification énergétique mises en Suvre dans les pays industrialisés et dans de nombreux pays en voie de développement depuis le début des années 1970 ont permis au gaz naturel d'accro tre régulièrement sa présence dans le bilan énergétique mondial. Ainsi, au cours des vingt dernières années, le gaz naturel a enregistré le taux de croissance le plus élevé parmi les énergies fossiles, et sa part de marché est progressivement passée de 18,9 % en 1975 à 23 % en 1997. Aujourd'hui, des facteurs d'ordres économiques et environnementaux font du gaz naturel l'énergie de choix sur de nombreux marchés. Le gaz jouit en effet d'un certain nombre d'atouts (réserves importantes, flexibilité, utilisations performantes) qui lui confèrent une place majeure dans tous les scénarios de prévision de demande énergétique. Le développement le plus spectaculaire se fera sans conteste dans le secteur électrique. D

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