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Natural Gas Pricing in Countries of the Middle East and North Africa

Hossein Razavi

Year: 2009
Volume: Volume 30
Number: Number 3
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol30-No3-1
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Abstract:
This paper presents a quantitative framework for discussing the gas pricing policy in the countries of Middle East and North Africa (MENA) where gas prices are set directly or indirectly by the governments. It concludes that the price of gas in most MENA countries is substantially below its economic cost, resulting in wasteful use of gas and electricity, deployment of inefficient technologies, and huge burden on government budgets. The low gas price also causes a bias in favor of gas export projects while at the same time reduces investors� interest in the upstream and downstream gas sector. The implications are most interesting about four countries � Algeria, Qatar, Egypt and Iran � where each country has to revisit its gas allocation policy and where each government is trying to de-link investors� interest from domestic gas prices.



Understanding Middle East Gas Exporting Behavior

Axel M. Wietfeld

Year: 2011
Volume: Volume 32
Number: Number 2
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol32-No2-8
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Abstract:
The Middle East is a fascinating region with an immense GDP growth and an excellent business environment. Thanks to its huge hydrocarbon reserves, the region already exports a lot of oil and gas and has realistic plans to increase this further. Although the global gas market is currently saturated and will be so for the next years, the hunger for additional supplies is likely to reappear in the second half of the new decade. Consequently, the gas exporting nations in the Middle East, such as Qatar, the UAE, Oman and Iran have to prepare themselves for developing additional projects. The question discussed in this article is whether they are able to do so, given challenges such as high indigenous demand, energy inefficiency, reserve structures and the sometimes unstable political environment, which is making it difficult to attract the required capital. This review begins with a brief overview of each country's reserve structure and natural gas history. It then proceeds to analyze the current and future supply/demand balance, taking into account the relevant pipeline and LNG export projects, and draws conclusions for future export projects. The results suggest that Qatar, the UAE, Iran and Oman could contribute to global LNG and pipeline gas supplies with additional volumes of 55 to 90 bcm/a in the period 2015 to 2020.





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