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Letter from the Middle East: Gas faces headwinds

The received wisdom that gas would be the region’s main growth fuel for generation is being challenged

The Middle East’s hydrocarbon-rich countries would build out gas-fired power plants to free up more oil for export. Those less endowed with energy reserves would construct LNG import terminals to facilitate their own ‘dash for gas’. That was the rosy picture for the region’s gas demand growth. But that picture has clouded as Gulf states embrace other generation options. At the start of August, the Barakah nuclear plant in the western UAE began to split atoms—the culmination of a decade-long journey towards the Arab world’s first nuclear power generation. Aside from nuclear, solar, wind, coal and even hydrogen pose new challenges to gas in a region where hydrocarbons have traditionally reign

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