UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman explore extension of Gulf gas network
Energy minister of the Emirates says research under way between three countries to link pipelines
Senior government officials are exploring plans to build an integrated gas network supplying the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, and Kuwait.
The GCC-wide line will link all five nations together, with pipes pumping gas across the region to safeguard energy security.
Oman, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE are currently researching the extension of a Gulf gas network by integrating their respective pipelines with the Gulf electricity network. This could then be connected to Kuwait and Bahrain.
The ambitious idea does not stop with the GCC. HE Suhail bin Mohammed Faraj Faris Al Mazrouei, the UAE’s Minister of Energy and Industry, said the pipeline could easily stretch to Africa and Iraq.
"We have plans for commercial connections with Egypt, Jordan, and Iraq, which are expected to begin soon," he explained. "We also plan to connect to Ethiopia, which will provide a link between the countries of Asia and Africa."
Extending the gas grid and building a connected system across the GCC and beyond would also ensure that Saudi Arabia has ample markets to export surplus gas to.
Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Energy, Industry, and Mineral Resources and chairman of state-run oil giant Saudi Aramco, Eng Khalid bin Abdulaziz Al-Falih, is keen on the idea of building a GCC-wide gas network.
During Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2019, he outlined Saudi Arabia’s commitment to working alongside the UAE and Oman to research the GCC gas network.
Solar energy will play a bigger role in meeting the UAE’s energy demand as well. Under the country’s Energy Strategy 2050, up to 44% of daytime energy consumption will be met by solar power in an attempt to balance uses of gas and solar, the UAE's state news agency, Wam, reported.