Co-Hosted with Khalifa University and International Association for Energy Economics
On Monday, June22, the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC) held a webinar for two days, entitled “Opportunities for Natural Gas in the GCC,” and co-hosted with Khalifa University of Science and Technology and International Association for Energy Economics (IAEE).
The panel discussions aimed to gather experts from research institutions and regional and international stakeholders from investors in the gas industry, to study the current strategies for developing natural gas trade markets and the prospects for a gas grid in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.
Dr. Fahad Alturki, KAPSARC Vice President of Research, commenced the webinar stating that the importance of this webinar comes within the framework of Saudi Arabia’s efforts to diversify energy sources and enhance its position in the natural gas industry. Accordingly, the team of experts in KAPSARC seeks to analyze the oil and gas markets within the Markets and Industrial Development program. This program falls within six research programs that seek to explore energy economics issues, and develop visions and recommendations to diversify the energy mix and increase its efficiency and productivity.
Rami Shabaneh and Bertrand Rioux, researchers at KAPSARC, discussed the economic value of gas grids in the GCC. The researchers’ analysis showed that the integration of gas grids in the GCC within the framework of current price policies, along with its role in supporting the efficiency of water and electricity generation, has resulted in economic profits for the GCC in 2018 with a value of 400 million dollars.
The workshop highlighted the opportunities and challenges in natural gas between the GCC, and the role of policies and organizational work in supporting gas trade in the region, as well as the pivotal role that natural gas plays in meeting the growing power demand in the GCC. Within the last decade, regional natural gas demand has grown by 100 billion cubic meters (bcm), placing GCC countries among the largest gas consumers per capita globally.
It is noteworthy that KAPSARC has various partnerships with a number of international and regional think tanks. The center constantly organizes – according to these partnerships – several workshops to discuss the latest developments and topics in various fields, including: energy, economics, environment and transport. These workshops are an opportunity to share international experiences between the participating parties, in addition to publishing the summary and recommendations of these workshops on KAPSARC’s website.
It is also noted that KAPSARC announced last February its progress in the list of the best research centers regionally and globally. KAPSARC jumped 14 ranks in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) research centers to rank 15th among 103 research centers in the region, and ranked globally 13th out of 60 research centers specializing in energy policies and resources.