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Energy investment to surpass expectations


The UAE has overtaken Qatar to become the regions second largest energy investor with its potential capital in the sector totaling around US$74 billion during 2011-2015, official figures have shown.

Saudi Arabia is expected to remain the dominant investor in the oil and other energy sectors in the region as it could pump nearly US$130 billion in the same period, showed the figures by the Saudi-based Arab Petroleum Investment Corporation (Apicorp), an affiliate of the 10-nation Organisation of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries.

In a study sent to regional media, Apicorp sharply revised up its forecast for pan-Arab potential energy investment to US$530 billion during 2011-2015 against US$470 billion during its previous review.

It said the upward review was prompted by the fact that global energy demand is recovering from the 2008 financial distress and oil prices are expected to stabilise at relatively high prices.

By contrast, gas investors, who face a more challenging market, may put higher value on the option to wait, the report said. It noted that forecasts of higher than anticipated demand would encourage investors to bring back in line some of the oil-based projects they had previously shelved or postponed because of the crisis and to slate for development new ones.

'On this basis, we expect growth in energy capital investments to continue recovering from the contraction that occurred during the crisis,' the report said.