Gas to dominate the GCC’s power sector

By Abhishek Kumar 3 April 2017
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Combined gas-fired power plant. Gas will remain the dominant fuel in the GCC’s power domain for the foreseeable future. (OMV) Combined gas-fired power plant. Gas will remain the dominant fuel in the GCC’s power domain for the foreseeable future. (OMV)

The demand for power is rising in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, boosting the need for gas from the region’s utilities. The six GCC member countries – Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates – are also under pressure to use less oil to generate power. This is because the price of the fuel is still low and the GCC’s members need to increase their revenues from oil exports. Although the GCC plans to promote renewables in its power sector, slow progress means gas will continue to consolidate its position as the fuel of choice.

Diversification will remain a key word for the GCC, partly because of its members’ growing gas-to-power demand. The GCC is striving to diversify its power generation mix, but is likely to have limited success because its members are reluctant to reduce their dependence on gas. Consequently, the region is also diversifying its sources of gas and LNG, which involves deepening the GCC’s reliance on imports of both in the short-to-medium term. The region also aims to become self-sufficient in gas production in the longer term.

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