Saudi 5-year energy spending seen at $173 billion: Apicorp

2/18/2014

Saudi 5-year energy spending seen at $173 billion: Apicorp

BY WAEL MAHDI

RIYADH (Bloomberg) -- Saudi Arabia will spend $173 billion on energy projects through 2018, leading investment by the oil producing nations of the Middle East and North Africa, according to regional lender Arab Petroleum Investments Corp.

The countries will invest $765 billion, the bank known as Apicorp said in its annual review of projects in the region. “Cost inflation remains one of the most important factors driving the increase in energy investment,” it said, estimating costs in the region have more than tripled since 2003.

Saudi Arabia tops the list of committed investments in the region, for projects mostly by Saudi Arabian Oil Co. and Saudi Basic Industries Corp., followed by the U.A.E., with spending plans of $113 billion, the inter-governmental energy bank said.

Algeria overtook Qatar, Iran and Iraq with plans that would make it the third-largest investor in regional energy. Algeria has an estimated $82 billion of projects pending after “catch- up investments and early steps in shale gas,” the bank said.

Iran’s spending program was estimated at $61 billion, while Iraq’s $69 billion “is still far below its potential.” The review covers projects in oil, gas, petrochemicals and power that are expected to be awarded final investment decisions.

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