The Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA) has presented findings from its World Energy Outlook 2005 projecting growth in the Middle East and North African oil and natural gas sectors through to 2030.

“The importance of the Middle East and North Africa to global oil and gas markets cannot be underestimated. These countries have vast resources, but these resources must be further developed. Investment should not be delayed,” said William Ramsay, deputy executive director of Middle East and North Africa Insights for the IEA.

The outlook predicts global energy markets to remain robust through 2030 with world energy demand projected to increase by over 50% if policies remain unchanged. World energy resources are adequate to meet this demand, but investment of $17 trillion will be needed to bring these resources to consumers, while oil and gas imports from the Middle East and North Africa will rise.

Energy-related CO2 emissions are also expected to climb by 52% by 2030. “These projected trends have important implications and lead to a future that is not sustainable – from an energy-security or environmental perspective. We must change these outcomes and get the planet onto a sustainable energy path,” added Ramsay.