Exclusives

Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, production, oil, neutral zone, Al-Khafji, field,  Essam al-Marzouq

Sources familiar with the talks said the two countries have agreed that any resumption of crude production from the shared oil fields won’t raise their output beyond limits set by OPEC.

Iraq, oil, CERAWeek, export, gas, production, OPEC, Jabbar Ali al-Luiebi

Although OPEC’s second-largest oil producer has more than 70 oil fields, only 30% of these are developed or partially developed, according to Iraq’s oil minister.

Middle East, technology, oil, prices, Middle East Technology Conference, Nexant, Euro Petroleum Consultants, Saudi Aramco

During the last 18 months, the economic climate and oil prices have been the primary focus for much of the industry, but technology has gained prominence.

Stratas Advisors outlined regional relationships’ link to energy production in a recent webinar, as the Trump administration marks its first month. 

A groundbreaking initiative has seen a rare cooperation between two Middle Eastern NOCs as part of a JIP to develop an oil-in-water removal and media regeneration package.

Exploration

Iran aims to grow gas output to 1 Tcm by 2018, up from 160.5 Bcm in 2012, before the latest sanctions took effect. But it currently has no ability to freeze its gas into LNG for tanker exports, Reuters reported.

During the week of Feb. 20, Iraq announced an increase in its oil reserves to 153 billion barrels (Bbbl) from a previous estimate of 143 Bbbl, Reuters reported. 

The field is expected to come into production at the end of the year and will save Egypt billions of dollars in hard currency that would otherwise be spent on imports, Reuters reported.

Qatar, a member of OPEC, shipped 76.4 million tonnes of LNG in 2014, or 32% of global supply, according to the International Group of Liquefied Natural Gas Importers, Reuters reported.

OMV started operations in Iran in 2001 as the operator of the Mehr exploration block in the west of the country, but halted operations in 2006 due to sanctions being imposed on Iran, Reuters reported.

Production

Total plans to make a final investment decision on a $2 billion gas project in Iran by the summer, but the decision hinges on the renewal of U.S. sanctions waivers, CEO Patrick Pouyanne said earlier this month.

Iran’s oil minister has criticized French oil company Total for its decision to delay signing a contract to develop a gas field in southern Iran, saying that the reasons given by Total’s CEO were “unacceptable” to Tehran.

Aramco has invited companies to bid for several packages of FEED work on the project, which one source estimated could cost $6 billion. Two sources told Reuters the estimated cost of the gas plant expansion is about $1.7 billion.

Minister of Energy and Water Cesar Abou Khalil  said a second pre-qualification round for companies interested in E&P contracts would be launched soon, Reuters reported.

Industry sources told Reuters last year that Aramco was operating about 212 oil and gas rigs, a level it had kept steady since 2015. That number did not include rigs used to drill water wells.

Technology

The IPO is the centerpiece of the Saudi government's ambitious plan, known as Vision 2030, to diversify the economy beyond oil, Reuters reported. 

Marc Benayoun, CEO of Italian energy group Edison, which is exploring areas near the Zohr Field, said on Feb. 14 he was confident more gas would be discovered, Reuters reported.

The judgement follows a July 2015 award confirming the claimants’ long-term contractual rights and a November 2015 judgement awarding them $1.96 billion for outstanding unpaid invoices, Dana said, Reuters reported.

The head of Russia's Rosneft, Igor Sechin, said in 2016 the Aramco listing would give transparency over reserves data that had not been updated for 30 years, Reuters reported.

The contract includes the engineering, procurement and installation of two oil pipelines offshore. Work is expected to begin immediately and finish by the end of second-quarter 2018, the company said.