UK official: Developing O&G industry in Middle East, North Africa will boost regional economies, global energy security

Posted on 08 February 2012

By Joanne Liou, editorial coordinator

Alistair Burt, a member of parliament for United Kingdom, recently spoke before at a World Affairs Council meeting about increasing energy security and the role the oil and gas industry will play in the economic reconstruction of the Middle East and North Africa.

Over the past year, the Middle East and North Africa experienced momentous change, and that is creating opportunities for the oil and gas industry to step up in the repair and reconstruction of the developing economies. “The eruption of democracy movements across the Middle East and North Africa is, even in these early stages, the most important political development in the 21st century,” Alistair Burt, parliamentary under-secretary of state at the United Kingdom’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, said. “The oil and gas sectors will undoubtedly play a major part in this economic reconstruction.” At the World Affairs Council luncheon in Houston on 1 February, Mr Burt explained how the Middle East and North Africa regions will impact the world’s energy market.

Figures from the International Energy Agency in 2009 forecast global demand for energy could reach approximately 17 billion tons of oil equivalent by 2030, an increase of about 40% of current production. “Meeting this demand while simultaneously tackling the challenges of climate change is one of the great tests of our time,” Mr Burt stated. “We need a stable and affordable energy supply … How we achieve it is the key.”

The Middle East and North Africa account for almost 60% of global oil reserves and almost 40% of gas reserves. “This wealth, properly invested, could drive an economic rejuvenation across the region to match the regional awakening,” Mr Burt said. “But we must also look to the wider picture. Global trends and energy consumption cannot be ignored, and the Middle East has a vital role to play in ensuring the stable and secure supply of energy to the world market.”

Historically, the Middle East has been a leader in energy supply and will likely continue to maintain that role. “Production of traditional hydrocarbons needs to increase, and countries like Iraq and Libya in the region are leading the way,” Mr Burt said. “The oil and gas sectors in these countries should be the lifeblood that drives the economic regeneration, not only in their borders after so many years of repression, but across the global economy.”

As economic uncertainties of energy wealth are in flux in the midst of political reform across the region, Mr Burt called for Western countries to recognize how relationships with the Middle East and North Africa are changing and maturing as energy sources develop and demand increases. “Our relationship will be based less on the one-way supply of oil and more on mutual economic benefit trade and exchanges,” he said.

How the situation will unfold in each country is uncertain; however, “what we can be certain of is how the United Kingdom and the United States energy sectors can play its part in supporting the positive outcomes,” Mr Burt stated.

Leave a Reply

*

FEATURED MICROSITES


Recent Drilling News

  • 15 April 2014

    Chevron’s deepwater assets highlight value of dual-gradient drilling

    The “un-drillable” is becoming drillable by using dual-gradient drilling (DGD) to remove the impact of water depth. Dale Straub, Senior Drilling Advisor at Chevron, discussed...

  • 14 April 2014

    KCA Deutag awarded its first Canadian contract for Hebron Project

    KCA Deutag has entered into the offshore Canadian drilling sector following the award of its first contract in Canada with ExxonMobil Canada Properties. KCA Deutag was awarded...

  • 11 April 2014

    Statoil makes oil, gas discovery in the Valemon Nord prospect

    Statoil has together with the Valemon Unit partners made a gas and oil discovery in the Valemon Nord prospect in the North Sea. The discovery wells 34/10-54 S and 34/10-54 A...

  • 11 April 2014

    Rynd elected as NOIA Chairman

    The National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) Board of Directors has elected John T. Rynd as Chairman of NOIA and Cindy B. Taylor as Vice Chair of NOIA for the 2014-2015...

  • 09 April 2014

    UMW: New academy trains diverse talents with varying backgrounds

    For Abdul Samad Yusof, Head of UMW Drilling Academy, an understanding of where trainees come from is essential if one is to be able to teach them effectively, particularly...

  • Read more news