Research and consulting firm, GlobalData, has predicted that Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) will build the largest amount of new natural gas processing plants over the coming years, increasing the overall region’s capacity by 10.1 trillion ft3 between 2013 – 2017. The latest report from the company reveals that in the EMEA region, Iran and Saudi Arabia will account for the majority of new capacity (43%).
The EMEA region will be followed by the Americas and Asia-Pacific region. The rapid increase in natural gas production from US shale has led to a rapid increase in natural gas processing facilities. The Americas will add 4.4 trillion ft3 of new natural gas processing capacity, of which the US will account for over 80%. Asia-Pacific will build an estimated 2.4 trillion ft3 of capacity newbuildings, of which Turkmenistan will contribute 635.4 billion ft3 by 2017, reaching 27% of the region’s total planned capacity.
Among natural gas processing players across the globe, the National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) currently operates the most active capacity, reaching 7.9 trillion ft3. Gazprom and Saudi Aramco have the second and third highest capacities, at 7.7 trillion ft3 and 6 trillion ft3, respectively.
GlobalData’s Senior Analyst covering the EMEA region, Gustavo Bianchotti, said that within the EMEA region the Middle East would dominate the construction of natural gas-processing newbuildings, providing that Iran prevails over international sanctions placed on its oil and gas industries. Countries in Europe, excluding Russia, would do little to contribute to the growth of natural gas processing facilities. Bianchotti said that this was due to “slow gas reserves growth and decreasing gas production levels in the majority of the key gas producing countries in Europe.
“While low prices on ethane and propane do not sound good for producers, they have provided an economic incentive for petrochemical firms to construct plants in the US and/or to ramp up operations in the Americas in order to take advantage of the lower-priced feedstock.
“With the current boom in shale gas production expected to last at least another 40 years, it would be a seemingly wise investment for petrochemical companies to continue processing natural gas in this region,” Bianchotti concluded.
Adapted from press release by Ted Monroe