The coronavirus epidemic has put Asian oil and gas demand growth back in the spotlight – this time as a spoiler not the savior it has been in the last three decades. That period had its scares – the Asian financial crisis of 1997-98 and the global financial crisis of 2008-09 – but Asian demand could generally be relied upon to buoy growth and bounce back quickly after crises. In the wake of COVID-19, forecasts of an economic rebound in China by mid-year may be correct, but certain structural factors could alter the longer-term trajectory of demand growth. For OPEC and the oil markets, the conditions make for an uncertain 2020.
Morocco has been very successful at enhancing agricultural processing activities through its Plan Maroc Vert, or Green Morocco Plan. The sector has become more attractive for international investments, but issues related to climate change and land fragmentation remain challenges to faster sector growth
Liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports have made a clear and positive impact on Central and Eastern Europe, improving energy security, lowering prices and decreasing Russian geopolitical leverage. The EU and US are backing billions of dollars of further investment from the Baltic to the Aegean, and MENA suppliers are expected to capitalise on the resulting expansion in capacity. However, there are still bottlenecks in infrastructure development and the outlook for the European gas market is uncertain. The global LNG glut has coincided with price and supply competition from Russia and Azerbaijan. Ironically, LNG exporters may be victims of their own success.