JEDDAH – Gas production in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries is forecast to reach 6.6 billion cubic meters per day next year, reports said. Its estimated growth this year is 6.3 billion cubic meters per day this year from 5.4 billion cubic meters per day in 2010.
Qatar is set to pump 2.5 billion cubic meters per day over the course of 2011 and 2012.
Meanwhile, all non-oil exporting economies in the MENA region will be faced with major headwinds throughout 2012 as unrest around the region and possible global economic slumps darken the horizon.
However, oil price forecast is down slightly, averaging $97 per barrel. This decrease will be offset by a 400,000 bpd increase in the region’s crude output. The production rise will maintain a nominal GDP of $1,378 billion next year, only $2 billion below 2011 expectations.
Real GDP growth is seen at 6.7 percent, with a 4.2 percent rise in the non-hydrocarbon sector and 10.8 percent growth in the oil sector. The Institute for International Finance expects to see private sector growth of 3.7 percent and public sector growth of 5.3 percent.
Oil production within the six member states, including Kuwait, the UAE and Saudi Arabia, is forecasted to increase by around 1.2 million bpd (barrels per day), surging from 15.2 million bpd last year to 16.4 million bpd this year.
Oil sector in the GCC would reach $738 billion in 2011, up from $494 billion last year. The non-oil sector will also report an increase, growing from $581 billion to $642 billion.
The higher amounts of public spending in oil exporting nations will be taken care of by the oil output and price levels currently forecasted.
Surging oil prices, which averaged at about $109 per barrel, are set to add $305 billion to GCC oil producing economies this year. This will push the current account surplus to a record high.
The Gulf countries stand to defy the ongoing global financial onslaught, data and reports coming from various international bodies revealed.
The IMF said growth in the GCC would reach seven percent this year, with the current account surplus (external) hitting $279 billion, a 71 percent increase from the 2010 balance of $163 billion. – SG/QJM