(MENAFN - Arab News) Saudi Arabia is implementing energy projects at a cost of SR 140 billion during the current year, thus topping the list of the highest spending countries in energy projects in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) driven by increase of oil prices above 100 per barrel, financial sources said.
According to a study by Global Energy, Saudi Arabia is merited with strong economic and financial position that allowed it to withstand the world financial crisis during the past four years.
Its financial solvency has enabled it to go ahead with planning giant oil projects and exploit oil revenues for development and industrial diversification, which will be positively reflected in its sustainable development and well-being of its people, the report said.
Energy projects in most countries of the world were hampered during the last four years and significantly retreated in oil producing countries by 40 percent due to uncertainty of global economic growth and future oil prices, analysts at Oil Investments said.
Saudi Arabia, however, continued steadily to implement projects related to the expansion of oil production and downstream industries focusing on oil refineries to meet the increasing demand on refined oil products, they said.
A report by Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), meanwhile, said Saudi Arabia has the highest rate of world energy consumption per capita but it also retains more than fifth of world oil reserves, and is expected to continue to occupy the first position globally as an exporter of oil between 2012-2020 due to its production capacity by more than 12 million barrels per day.
Demand on natural gas in Saudi Arabia is predicted to grow more than oil where it will be growing by a rate of 8.6 percent during 2012-2020, the EIU report said, adding that Saudi Arabia will, therefore, focus on the expansion of natural gas projects to meet the growing demand on gas for electric generation and industrial expansion.