Saudi Arabia leads MENA investment plans

Saudi Arabia leads countries of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) in future energy investment, according to a study by Arab Petroleum Investments Corp., Dammam, (APICORP).

Saudi Arabia leads countries of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) in future energy investment, according to a study by Arab Petroleum Investments Corp., Dammam, (APICORP).

The kingdom plans to invest $124 billion in energy projects during the next 5 years, beyond the $42 billion it has committed to projects already under execution.

Iran is second in total planned energy investment, at $103 billion, but leads the group in committed projects with an estimated $51 billion.

The study estimates the value of all committed projects in the MENA region at $337 billion and says a further $622 billion of development is planned during 2017-21.

APICORP’s total of $960 billion for planned and committed projects in the MENA region during 2017-21 is $60 billion higher than what it estimated last year for 2016-20.

Of MENA projects planned for 2017-21, power projects account for $207 billion, followed by oil projects at $195 billion and gas projects at $159 billion. Remaining investments are in petrochemicals.

Of projects under execution, $121 billion is for oil, mostly upstream. Gas accounts for $108 of the committed projects, power $91 billion, and chemicals $17 billion.

In the committed category, $174 billion is for projects in Gulf Cooperation Council countries.

In North Africa, Egypt and Algeria lead in committed projects with a combined $52 billion.

Challenges to MENA investment include uncertainty about oil prices, problems of creditworthiness, and turmoil generated by conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Libya, and Yemen, according to APICORP.

“Regional instability is unlikely to recede in the immediate future, and investors will be wary of spillover effects in neighboring countries,” it said.

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