MENAF - 12/4/2006
The use of gas should be stepped up in the UAE and the wider Gulf region, according to an oil and gas expert.
In an interview with Khaleej Times, Morten Frisch, a UK-based consultant who is also used as an expert inlegal disputes, said that gas can play a big role in creating jobs and supplying electricity to growingpopulations in the Gulf. "The use of gas locally should be increased," he said. "One of the reasons why it's so important to increase the use of gas is that it can be used as the basis for new industry."
"One needs to think about the rapidly increasing populations in Arab countries and the need to createemployment.Gas can also play a role in generating electricity."
Frisch said that most of the "easy gas" has probably been produced in Abu Dhabi, which has the largest gas reserves in the UAE. "The bulk of unproduced reserves is deep gas, which requires large investment," he said.
However, large gas projects around the world are being hampered by a severe shortage of qualified people and equipment, he said.
"The whole world has run out of people who can build these projects — geologists, process engineers, facilities engineers."
The equipment can be built in three to five years' time, he said. The overriding problem, he said, is finding the right people to operate new equipment. The world has almost run out of contractors that can operate large plants, he said.
"What we have seen over the last 10 years is a slump in the number of people starting university courses in the required disciplines," Frisch said.
"What the industry needs to do is to start attracting youngsters on to these courses."