Algeria is facing a new crossroad as its political and socio-economic balance has become increasingly weakened by the consequences of the oil price collapse since 2014. Algeria is faced with stark choices, as illustrated by the interplay between its energy sector and its political & economic challenges and opportunities. Budgetary constraints are putting pressure on its key hydrocarbon industry, which was already suffering from years of underinvestment due to tough fiscal terms, challenging business climate and security risks.
The North African nation needs to intensify efforts to revive its oil and gas upstream sector with new projects, avert the long-term production decline at mature fields, whilst meeting growing domestic demand and honoring gas export commitments. The widening fiscal deficit and the rapid erosion of financial buffers since the oil price fell is further increasing the need for foreign capital to boost oil and gas reserves, amid growing competition with other producing nations to attract capital and technical know-how from international oil companies. But the lack of upstream investment is just one of the challenges facing Algiers in its energy sector and beyond.
Shortly after his inauguration in May 2017, the new President of South Korea has unveiled a new energy policy that shifts away from nuclear and coal power and focuses on renewables and natural gas instead. The move responds to growing safety concerns over nuclear power following the 2011 Fukushima accident and a series of earthquakes that hit southern Korea in 2016 and 2017. The energy transformation also responds to rising public hostility to coal power due to worsening air quality. Coal burning is also the main source of greenhouse gas emissions in the country, which has committed to reduce its emissions by 37% by 2030.
Kuwait is mostly known as one of the world’s largest oil producing nations and as a leading member of OPEC. But the country was also a pioneer in 2009 when it became the first in the MENA region to import LNG via a floating storage and regasification unit. At the time, LNG was considered a stop-gap solution to address chronic electricity shortages that threatened Kuwait’s economic and socio-political stability.
Today, Kuwait continues to lead the way in the region by being the first LNG importer to invest in a land-based LNG import terminal. The 22 mtpa facility, for which construction has begun at Al Zour industrial area, is scheduled to come online in 2021. Cedigaz’s latest report examines the risks and opportunities of Kuwait’s LNG strategy.