Experts in the petrochemical industry warned Saudi petrochemical producers against switching to naphtha as feedstock instead of methane.
Pundits from global advisory company, KPMG, said Saudi petrochemical producers may lose their competiveness if they give up using the cheaper methane, Al Riyadh reports.
They emphasise the kingdom’s need to boost its output of natural gas to support expansions in the petrochemical industry.
However, some people downplay the importance of such concerns, citing the kingdom’s massive gas reserves and its plans to increase production output.
Natural gas consumption in Saudi Arabia is forecast to double in 2030 from the current 3.5 trillion cubic feet.
Saudi Arabia needs natural gas for local consumption and the production of petrochemicals and the government is required to manage natural gas supplies.
The kingdom’s natural gas is estimated at 294trn cubic feet with a daily production of 11.3 billion standard cubic feet.
Sadara Chemical Company, the world’s largest chemical complex, is set to produce 3m tonnes of petrochemical and plastic products using natural gas.