GCC Gas Integration: More Than Just A Pipe Dream?

There is gathering momentum for GCC gas integration. A positive move, but the elephant in the room is the exclusion of gas-exporter Qatar. Coupled with major gas development plans reducing import requirements, the project appears political rather than economically motivated.

Saudi Arabia aims to develop an integrated gas grid with its neighboring states – excluding Qatar – says energy minister Khalid al-Falih. Ironically, Saudi Arabia has previously been the key impediment to efforts at developing a GCC gas pipeline network. Previous plans entailed Saudi-rival Qatar supplying Kuwait: such plans were stymied by Saudi Arabia refusing to lay a pipeline through its waters ( MEES, 27 February 2006 ).

The only cross-border project to get off the ground was Dolphin Energy (Abu Dhabi state firm Mubadala 51%, Total 24.5%, Occidental 24.5%) which supplies Qatari gas to the UAE and Oman through a 2bn cfd pipeline. Flows have continued despite the onset of the Qatar embargo in June 2017, with Dolphin reporting exports of 2bn cfd in 2017 ( MEES, 9 June 2017 ). Rates have stayed flat in 2018. (CONTINUED - 1308 WORDS)