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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.