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“A large part of the demand for petroleum products will be led by the Asian economies, and the proximity of the Middle East to the fast-growing emerging markets in Asia serves as a tremendous opportunity for the region’s oil & gas companies,” said Mr Saeed Abdullah Khoory, Chief Executive Officer of Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC).

Mr Khoory was welcoming delegates to the 19th annual Middle East Petroleum & Gas Conference which is part of the Middle East Petroleum & Gas Week.

Discussing the energy landscape, Mr Khoory said that the increased ties between the Middle East and the growing Asian nations will drive oil trading, which will offset any demand reduction from the developed nations, which are witnessing sluggish economic activity.

“For the next year, demand for petroleum products is expected to rise to 90.7mn bpd – which is an all time high. A large part of this strong demand will be driven by the non-OECD (Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development) countries with Asian economies taking the lead followed by the Middle East,” he explained.

Mr Khoory said that Dubai’s core sectors – trade, tourism and transport - have supported overall economic growth. “The aviation sector has in particular been a driving force and we anticipate it to remain one of the strongest growth pillars of Dubai’s economy.”

He said that on the supply side, the Middle East will continue to maintain its lead position due to massive investments in upstream and downstream sectors. “Our analysis of the market suggests that the global economic activity might continue to grow albeit at a very moderate rate. Policy makers will continue to take decisive measures to protect the fragile recovery.”

The conference will discuss critical energy issues facing the Middle East’s oil markets, and the production and financing of energy projects in the aftermath of the Arab Spring.