Tight supplies of natural gas in the Middle East means countries like Saudi Arabia might become gas exporters within the next 10 years, Russia's Gazprom said.
"We believe that in years to come, Saudi Arabia might become a gas importer," Frederic Barnaud, managing director of Gazprom Global LNG, was quoted by the Platts news service as saying.
Panelists at an energy conference in Dubai said they expected regional demand for liquefied natural gas to increase in 10-15 years by 10 times its current level.
Barnaud said it was unclear whether Riyadh would look to meet its rising gas demand through domestic supplies or imports.
"Saudi Arabia may be looking to import LNG to augment domestic supply in coming years," said Barnaud.
Gas giant Qatar has all of its LNG supplies contracted and a moratorium is in place for its giant North Field gas complex in the Persian Gulf until at least 2014, Platts adds. Iran, operating on its side of the complex at its South Pars field, is coping with widespread sanctions on its energy sector.
Gazprom is the largest extractor of natural gas in the world.