Domestic demand in the UAE for jet fuel surges 44% in five years The UAE has emerged as the largest consumer of jet fuel in the Arab World, by far surpassing Saudi Arabia, the top energy consumer in the region.
Official data showed the UAE accounted for more than a third of the Arab world’s total jet fuel demand although it has one of the smallest populations in the region.
Jet fuel consumption in the UAE, the second largest Arab economy after Saudi Arabia, peaked at round 85,000 barrels per day in 2010, nearly 44 per cent over demand in 2006, showed the figures by the Kuwaiti-based Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (Oapec).
Demand in the UAE has steadily risen over the past few years because of expansions in the country’s air fleets and a sharp rise in airport operations, mainly in Dubai, the region’s business and tourism hub.
Demand in the UAE swelled to 67,900 bpd in 2007, nearly 70,600 in 2008 and 79,000 in 2009 before climbing to a record high in 2010. In its annual report, the 10-nation Oapec gave no figures for 2011 but experts believe jet fuel consumption hit another record high level last year due to an increase in flights by national airlines and a rise in flight activity in local airports.
Saudi Arabia, the world’s oil powerhouse, emerged as the second largest Arab jet fuel consumer but far lagged behind the UAE, with its domestic demand standing at around 64,100 bpd in 2010. The level is higher by around 17 per cent over the 2006 demand, less than half the growth achieved by the UAE.Qatar came third, with jet fuel demand standing at 23,900 bpd in 2010 while Algeria was the fourth largest consumer with about 16,800 bpd.Bahrain, another key regional transit hub, was the fifth largest consumer, with around 15,500 bpd.
Egypt, the most populous Arab country, came fifth with nearly 12,400 bpd, followed by Oman with 9,200 bpd.In a recent study, the Cairo-based Arab League said the UAE would be the main investor in the region’s aviation sector, which is projected to attract around $200 billion over the next 15 years for new jets and airport expansions.About $103 billion will also be channelled into airport expansions and more than half the funds are expected to be spent by Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
The new Maktoum Airport in Jebel Ali, slated to be one of the largest airports in the world, will account for about 40 per cent of the total investments.The report said around $78.6 billion would be invested in the expansion of 10 major Arab airports, including those of Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
The projects will expand the Arab airports’ capacity to nearly 400 million passengers annually in 2012,” the report added.A breakdown showed around $50 billion would be invested by Dubai on Maktoum Airport while it will also spend about $4.1 billion on the expansion of the Dubai International Airport to raise its capacity to 40 million passengers. In Abu Dhabi, the government is planning to spend about $6.8 billion on the expansion of its international airport and $200 million for Al Ain Airport. About $800 million would also be spent on Ajman airport.
Gravity always wins!