Gas deposits in UAE have edged up while oil reserves remained unchanged despite a steady increase in its hydrocarbon production, official figures have shown.
By the end of 2010, the UAE controlled the seventh largest gas reserves in the world and the sixth proven oil deposits, maintaining its long-standing position as one of the world’s top crude and gas exporters. The figures by the Kuwaiti-based Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC) showed the UAE’s gas resources grew slightly from around 6,040 billion cubic metres (bcm) at the end of 2006 to around 6,091 bcm at the end of 2010. Its recoverable oil reserves remained at 97.8 billion barrels.
At the end of last year, the UAE’s natural gas deposits accounted for nearly 3.2 per cent of the world’s total proven gas resources of about 188.2 trillion cubic metres while its oil potential amounted to nearly 8.2 per cent of the global oil wealth of 1,188 billion barrels, the 10-nation OAPEC said in its annual report. Saudi Arabia’s gas deposits swelled to 7.92 trillion cubic metres from 7.15 trillion cubic metres and those of Egypt to 2.46 trillion from 1.91 trillion cubic metres.
Other gas powers in the Middle East include Algeria with around 4.5 trillion cubic metres, Iraq with 3.17 trillion, Egypt with around 2.46 trillion, Kuwait with 1.78 trillion and Libya with 1.54 trillion. Taken together, the combined Arab gas wealth accounted for nearly 29 per cent of the world’s total gas deposits, with Qatar controlling nearly half the Arab gas.
The report showed Arab nations also controlled nearly 683 billion barrels of proven oil deposits at the end of 2010, up from 679 billion at the end of 2006. Most of the increase during that period was in Libya, whose recoverable crude resources swelled to nearly 46.4 billion from 41.4 billion. Saudi Arabia remained the world’s oil powerhouse, controlling around 264.5 billion barrels at the end of 2010, nearly 22 per cent of the world’s total oil.
Iran came second with proven oil reserves of around 137 billion barrels while they were estimated nearly 115 billion in Iraq, 101.5 billion in Kuwait, and 99.4 billion barrels in Venezuela. Other countries with relatively high oil deposits in the region include Qatar with around 25 billion barrels and Algeria with 12.2 billion.
At the end of 2010, the Arab region sat atop around 57.5 per cent of the world’s total extractable oil resources, according to OAPEC, which groups the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Iraq, Libya, Algeria, Egypt and Syria.