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Wednesday , July 17 2019

‘Long-term strategy but one worth pursuing’ – In search of more gas, Gulf states turn to shale

By Kamel Al-Harami Independent Oil Analyst

It is time to look for another technology or methodology to search and explore for more natural gas in our region, especially since Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and others in the region are surrounded by rich gas producing countries like Qatar, Iran and, to a lesser extent, Iraq. Since the traditional technology is not working, why not look for shale gas and perhaps gain more positive results? Why not try the shale methods? It may work particularly if we seek hydro-cracking and horizontal drilling services from American oil companies that have the experience and have excelled in this field.

USA today has doubled the production of its crude oil and shale gas such that shale gas price is the lowest in the world now. Our countries can no longer compete with the American gas and can no longer be regarded as the hub of foreign investors. Besides the loss of our attractiveness to those outside the region, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are in need of finding alternatives to oil, instead of burning oils to meet their energy needs, generate electricity and water, and lose precious revenues. This can be done by discovering and relying on more gas. If not, let us import gas.

This is what Kuwait is doing ¨C rely more on imported gas, and most likely abolish plans to use low sulphur fuel oil for generating electricity. If this happens, then the configuration of the new Al- Zour Refinery has to be switched to a new mode. Since the discovery of shale gas in America, the world attention has been focused on how soon its new discoveries will be exported to the world particularly the Gulf region.

The time has come for Kuwait to import American shale gas, and remain committed until the time when it discovers its own. Shale gas will not be cheap, but it will be a new source of income, and can make Saudi Arabia and Kuwait free the oils for export and gain more financial benefits.

In addition, it could help the two countries become more attractive again by returning to investing in petrochemical industries, provided our gas becomes attractive again. It is a long-term strategy but one worth pursuing. . . . email: naftikuwaiti@yahoo.com

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