OPEC 56th Anniversary

Events That Shaped Oil & The Middle East

1959 - Before OPEC

OPEC’s objective is to co-ordinate and unify petroleum policies among Member Countries, in order to secure fair and stable prices for petroleum producers; an efficient, economic and regular supply of petroleum to consuming nations; and a fair return on capital to those investing in the industry. OPEC’s formation by five oil-producing developing countries in Baghdad in September 1960 occurred at a time of transition in the international economic and political landscape, with extensive decolonisation and the birth of many new independent states in the developing world. The international oil market was dominated by the “Seven Sisters” multinational companies and was largely separate from that of the former Soviet Union (FSU) and other centrally planned economies (CPEs).

  • The First OPEC Meeting Held In Baghdad

    In the following article, the editor of the Middle East Economic Survey, who has just returned from Baghdad, records his impressions of the conference of oil producing countries based on conversations and interviews with the chief delegates to the conference. The world's five

  • Enrico Mattei Predicts End of Company Monopoly & Press Commentary

    The following is part of a speech made on 14 September at Piaccnza by Enrico Mattei, Prcsident of ENI, at the opening of the fifth International Exhibition of Hydrocarbons (translated from French text): "The system set up by the petroleum cartel will not be able to sur

  • Interview with Head of Texas Railroad Commission

    On 5 October, the French oil journal Petrole Informations carried an interview with General Ernest 0. Thompson, President of the Texas Railroad Commission. A translation of the interview follows below: Q. Perez Alfonzo and Tariki are advocating the creation of an internatio

  • The Caracas Meeting

    The Second OPEC Conference Opening Sessions: The second conference of the five-nation Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries opened in Caracas, Venezuela, on 15 January with a preparatory session held on Sunday afternoon. The inaugural meeting took place on Monday, 16

  • Contrasting Views on OPEC

    The following are extracts from three recent speeches representing different viewpoints on the aims and principles of OPEC. The first, by H.W. Page, Vice President of Standard Oil Company (New Jersey),was to the Security Analysts of San Francisco on 22 December 1960. The spee

  • Closing Speeches From Caracas

    Closing Speeches at OPEC Conference: The following are the main portions of the speeches delivered by Dr. Juan Pablo Perez Alfonzo of Venezuela and Dr. Fuad Rouhani of Iran at the closing session of the second OPEC conference in Caracas on 21 January (official English texts r

  • Tariki Reiterates Oil Aims

    In a recent interview with the Cairo economic fortnightly al-Ahram al-Iqtisadi, Shaikh ‘Abd Allah al-Tariki, the Saudi Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, stressed the international character of the newly constituted Board of Governors of the Organization of Petroleum

  • OPEC Round-up: Views and Comment

    There follows a round-up of views and comment from the Arab and Western press and trade journals on the resolutions of the second OPEC conference in Caracas (see Supplement to MCES, 24. February 196l). The Arab States: In Iraq, the daily al-Bilad, 16 February, comments on the Ir

  • Tariki Urges Agreement Revision

    On 11 June, the Saudi Arabian Oil Minister, Shaikh tAbd Allah al-Tariki, made what is by far the most important policy statement to have appeared since his promotion to Cabinet rank last December. In an interview with two of Saudi Arabia's leading newspapers, the Jiddah daily

  • Kuwait Admitted To Arab Leauge

    Following an eight-hour meeting in Cairo on 20 July, the Arab League Council decided by a majority vote, shortly before midnight, to admit Kuwait as a full member of the League. Immediately after the voting took place the Iraqi delegation withdrew from the meeting. Later, the

  • Tariki Letter

    Shaikh 'Abd' Allah Tariki,, the Saudi Arabian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, has replied to criticisms of his government's decision to exercise its option to purchase up to 10 per cent of the Arabian Oil Company ls stock (see MEES 17 March). In a letter to the

  • Aramco Disputes

    Oil Minister Enumerates Outstanding Problems with Aramco: Shaikh 'Abd Allah al-Tariki. the Saudi Arabian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, stated'in the course of an interview with the Baghdad daily al- Zaman on 17 April that there were a number of outstanding issu

  • Tariki on OPEC and Aramco

    During a recent visit to Cairo, Shaikh 'Abd Allah al-Tariki, the Saudi Arabian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources I was interviewed by the Cairn economic journal al-Ahram al- Iqtisadi. Asked whether Iraq's request for postponement of the OPEC meeting until 21 Octob

  • Libya Becomes an Oil-Exporter

    Inaugural Ceremony: On 25 October Libya formally took its place among the oil-exporting countries of the world when King Idris I officially opened the Mersa al-Brega oil terminal on the Gulf of Sirte. The terminal was constructed by Esso Standard Libya as an outlet for crude from

  • The Iraqi Oil Legislation

    On 12 December, the Iraqi Government issued legislation limiting the operations of the oil companies in Iraq to their present producing fields, The combined concession area of the three companies was reduced to 1,937.75 sq. kms., or slightly less than 0,5 per cent of their origin

  • Soviet Propoganda In The Middle east

    In recent months, and especially since the Third Arab Petroleum Congress last October, the Soviet Union has been manifestly intensifying its efforts to convince Arab public opinion that there is no such thing as a Soviet oil menace". This does not mean to say that the Russian

  • MEES Tariki Interview

    Shaikh [Abd Allah al-Tariki, the former Saudi Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources,was interviewed in Beirut this week by Fuad W. Itayim, Editor of Middle East Economic Survey, and C, Vernon Myers, Publisher of Oilweek (Canada), Shaikh 'Abd Allah became Saudi Arabia's

  • Fourth OPEC Meeting

    The Fourth OPEC Conference met in Geneva from the 5th through the '7th of April, and examined the subjects figuring on tic Agenda proposed by the Board of Governors, which met from the 2nd to the 4th of April, The Delegation were in complete agreement on all items, but it wa

  • Libya to Join OPEC

    At a meeting held on 29 April, the Libyan Council of Ministers decided that Libya should apply for membership of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. The decision was taken after a discussion of a memorandum on the subject, submitted to the Council by the Minister o

  • The Fourth OPEC Conference

    MEES Editor Fuad W. Itayim visited Geneva last week to cover the final stage of the fourth OPEC conference. In the following article, based on interviews with three of the chief delegates, he records his impressions of the conference. The fourth conference of the Organization

  • MEES Interview Yamani

    Negotiations between the Saudi Arabian Government and the Arabian Mr. Ahmad Zaki Yamani American Oil Company on a new program of concession are are linquishments are to begin shortly. This was disclosed by the Saudi Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Mr. Ahmad Zaki

  • Fourth OPEC Meeting Round-up

    Introduction The potential significance of OPEC's Geneva resolutions for the producing countries of the Middle East should not be underestimated. At a rough calculation based on current production and royalty rates, the implementation of the resolutions would result in an ext

  • Mattei And The Middle East

    The tragic death of Sr. Enrico Mattei leaves a sad gap in the oil industry, not only in Italy but in all the European, African, Asian and South American countries where Sr. Mattei had dealings. The details OF his remarkable career - how within the space of 15 years he built u

  • The Iraqi National Oil Company

    At a press conference on 29 September, Iraqi Prime Minister ‘Abd al-Karim Qasim revealed the details of a draft law establishing an Iraqi National 011 Company. According to the draft law, the Company is to be capitalized at ID 20,000,000 and have the exclusive right to devel

  • OPEC Report: Oil Companies Make 66% Profit in Middle East

    In the five-year period from 1956 to 1960 the oil companies operating in the Middle East earned an average annual net return of 66 per cent on invested capital. This is, said to be the principal conclusion of a report by Arthur D.Lit t le Inc. of hew York, on the economics

  • Revolution In Iraq

    A t about.,9 a . m . on 8 February Baghdad radio announced that a coup d’e”t at had taken place in Iraq and that the Prime Mini& er, General ‘Abd al- Karim Qasim, had been killed, All front iers’and airports were closed and all means d  communication interrupt

  • OPEC Enters Critical Stage

    16. OPEC Enters Critical Stage: In an article in the Beirut economic newspaper Le Commerce du Levant of 20 March, Lebanese economist Nicholas Sarkis assesses the outlook for OPEC in the light of current developments. There follows a full summary of this article, Mr. Sarkis

  • OPEC Looks Ahead

    MEES News Editor Ian Seymour visited Geneva to cover the OPEC meeting. impressions, based on talks and interviews with delegates and OPEC officials. The problem facing the OPEC chief delegates when they began their second con- sultative meeting in Geneva on 1 Jul

  • Oil Companies Appear Reluctant to Negotiate Directly with OPEC

    The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has cabled MEES confirming that all member states have delegated authority to the OPEC Secretary General to negotiate on their behalf with the oil companies concerning the OPEC resolutions of July 1962. What is not ye

  • Oil Companies Expected To Amend Royalty Offer

    A formal offer by the international oil companies to amend the terms of the royalty offer which was rejected by OPEC a fortnight ago is confidently expected to be forthcoming within the next day or two, Saudi Oil Minister Ahmad Zaki Yamani told MEES in an exclusive intervie

  • OPEC Opts For Further Tales

    ‘Negotiation rather than confrontation’ will continue, for the time being at least, to be the guiding principle of OPEC’s strategy vis-a-vis the major international oil companies. This was the main outcome of the week-long conference of OPEC member states which ended 

  • Saudi Arabia And Kuwait Reach Neutral Zone Settlement

    Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have decided to partition the Neutral Zone between the two countries for administrative purposes while maintaining existing arrangements for the equal sharing of.natural resources. An agreement to this effect, which was initialed in Kuwait by represe

  • Arab Oil Experts to Consider Means of Coordinating Arab Oil Policy

    Arab Oil Experts Committee is scheduled to meet in Cairo on 1 August to consider steps necessary for coordination of Arab oil policy “in the light of the national aims of the Arab homeland. ‘I This was announced recently by the Assistant Arab League Secretary General, M

  • OPEC Rejects Companies Offer, Leaves Door Open for Further Negotiations

    The Sixth Conference of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has decided to reject the amended royalty offer communicated to the Governments of Iran and Saudi Arabia shortly before the conference began, MEES is reliably informed. But the Organization has

  • Tariki Comments on OPEC, Nationalization and Oil as a Political Weapon

    On 1 August, the Beirut economic journal Le Commerce du Levant carries the text of a lengthy interview which its editor-in-chief, Edouard Saab, had with the Arab oil consultant Shaikh ‘Abd Allah al-Tariki. By way of introduction, the interviewer stresses the importance of Ar

  • Op-Ed: Three OPEC Studies

    1. Background Information: A booklet designed to acquaint the general public more fully with OPEC, its background, its activities, and what it aspires to achieve. 2. Exporting Countries and International Oil: Based on a talk given by Francisco R. Parra at the Imperial Defence

  • Wattari Reaffirms Iraq’s Rejection Of Royalty Offer

    The Iraqi Oil Minister, Mr. ‘Abd al-‘Aziz al-Wattari, has reaffirmed Iraq’s rejection of the latest royalty offer made by the oil companies to the six Middle Eastern member countries of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Addressing a press conf

  • Arab Oil And Nationalization

    (Shortly after the Fifth Arab Petroleum Congress, the Cairo daily al-Akhbar organized a private panel discussion which dealt mainly with the feasibility of nationalizing Arab oil and constitutes an interesting sequel to the deliberations on this subject at the Congress. Partici

  • OPEC Formulates Planned Production Program

    MEES is reliably informed that OPEC’s newly-formed Economic Commission has formulated a "planned production program” for eventual implementation by the eight-member countries in an effort to arrest continuing crude oil and product price erosion. Taking 1964 production

  • OPEC Directs Economic Commission To Study Production Program

    MEES News Editor Ian Seymour Reports from Tripoli, Libya: The Ninth OPEC Conference, held in Tripoli, Libya, from 7 to 13 July, has directed the Organization’s Economic Commission to continue its studies concerning the possibility of taking transitory measures “s

  • OPEC Sets Growth Rates for 1965/66 Production Program

    The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has programmed output growth rates for member countries for the 1-month period 1 July 1965 through 30 June 1966 under its proposed production plan calling for “rational increases in production from the OPEC area.

  • Yamani Clarifies Saudi Attitude to OPEC Production Program

    If and when the new Iraqi-IPC oil settlement comes into effect, Saudi Arabia definitely intends to ask for equivalent terms from Aramco, Saudi Oil Minister Ahmad Zaki Yamani told MEES in an exclusive interview in Beirut this week. Replying to a question concerning Saudi Ar

  • The Significance Of The New OPEC Resolutions

    Two features are of outstanding interest in the resolutions of OPEC’s tenth conference (for full text see applement to this issue). The first is Resolution X 63 in which member countries pledged full support for Libya’s efforts to implement its new oil legislation and recom

  • Ruler Urges Oil Companies to Show Greater Understanding of Kuwait’s Needs

    At a ground-breaking ceremony on 5 March marking the beginning of construction work on the Kuwait National Petroleum Company’s 95,000 b/d refinery (see also Supplement to this issue), the Ruler of Kuwait urged oil companies to show greater understanding of Kuwait’s need

  • Occidental Signs Concession Agreement

    Occidental Signs Concession Agreement: Occidental Petroleum, one of the successful bidders which were granted new concessions in Libya in February (MEES, 25 February), has signed the agreement covering its two concession blocks (Nos. 42B and 44) with the Libyan Government. This w

  • Kurdish Settlement in Iraq Announced

    It seemed, for a short while this week, that growing hopes for a new era of stability in Iraq, climaxed by the announcement of peace in North Iraq, were in grave danger of collapse. On 29 June, Dr. ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Bazzaz, the Iraqi Prime Minister, announced that the govern

  • Iran Signs “Revolutionary” Contract Deal With French State Firm

    A radical new departure from the established pattern of Middle East oil agreements was registered in Iran this week, outpacing both the traditional 50-50 profit-sharing system and the more recent joint-venture arrangements. For the first time in the Middle East, a foreign oil com

  • First Round Of Talks On Royalty Discount Issue Concluded

    The first round of what promises to be a long-drawn-out series of negotiations on the OPEC countries’ demand for the complete elimination of the discount "allowance" off posted prices (6.5 per cent for 1966) granted to the oil companies for tax calculation purposes

MEES Interview With Saudi Oil Minister Ahmad Zaki Yamani

Yamani Warns Against Dangers Of Oil Production Race In Middle East. In an exclusive interview with MEES Editor Fuad Itayim in Riyadh last week, Saudi Oil Minister Ahmad Zaki Yamani came out with a sharp warning against the dangers of an oil production race among the Middle East countries which would adversely affect oil prices and contradict the philosophy and objectives of OPEC. Stressing that the idea of unilateral action was contrary to Saudi Arabia’s “general philosophy in doing business and inconsistent with the friendly atmosphere which characterizes our relations with the oil companies at present, It the Minister nevertheless urged the companies operating in Saudi Arabia not to “shake our faith in this philosophy by showing us that other means are more rewarding in safeguarding our oil interests. I’ Finally – in a reference to Get@ Oil Company, the concessionaire for Saudi Arabia’s half share in the onshore Neutral Zone – Mr. Yamani declared that the government was highly dissatisfied with Getty’s failure to abide by its concession agreement and proposed to give that company one last chance to negotiate a satisfactory settlement. (more…)

  • Recent Developments In Permanent Sovereignty

    (In the following article, written exclusively for MEES, Dr. Mughraby comments on the background to and significance of the new Resolution on Permanent Sovereignty Over Natural Resources adopted by the UN General Assembly on 25 November 1966. Dr. Mughraby is a Lebanese lawyer

  • Can We Nationalize ?

    Although he did not present an official paper at the Sixth Arab Petroleum Congress in Baghdad last week, Shaikh ‘Abd Allah al-Tariki did nevertheless distribute, outside the conference hall, a lengthy Arabic-language pamphlet entitled “Is it Feasible to Nationalize the Oil

  • Israeli Occupation Of Palestinian Territories

    After a brisk one-day meeting at the headquarters of the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC) in Kuwait on 17 October, Oil Ministers from 10 Arab countries- Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, Libya, Algeria, Egypt, Syria, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain and Qatar - agreed upon

  • A MEES Commentary on the Current Mideast Crisis and its Repercussions on the Oil Situation

    What began as a seemingly “conventional” renewal of tension between Israel and Syria about two weeks ago has now escalated to within a hairsbreadth of full scale war between the Zionist state and the Arab world. The current situation is, of course, fraught with the most momen

  • Oil Moves To Forefront Of Mideast Crisis

    Oil Producing Countries to Meet in Baghdad To Decide on Plan for Use of Oil Weapon In the current situation of knife-edge tension in the Middle East, at least one probability has now been translated into a virtual certainty: in the event ,of foreign intervention or support in fa

  • Arab Oil Flow And Suez Canal Cut

    The flagrant Israeli aggression on the Arab countries, which began on the morning of Monday, 5 June, has now resulted in the closure of the Suez Canal and the virtually complete stoppage of the flow of oil from the Arab producing countries. The trigger for the oil cutoff

  • Saudi Embargo On Oil Supplies To Us And Britain Continues

    Reports which persisted throughout the past week that Saudi Arabia was preparing to lift the embargo on oil shipments to Britain and the US have been categorically denied by Oil Minister Ahmad Zaki Yamani who also reaffirmed his government’s adherence to the Baghdad Conference

  • Selective Arab Oil Embargo Lifted

    As far as the oil industry is concerned, the most striking and immediate result of last weeks Arab Summit Conference (for full documentation on resolutions, etc. see supplement to this issue) has of course been the lifting of the embargo on oil supplies to “aggressor” s

  • Abu Dhabi to Join OPEC

    The Trucial Coast shaikhdom of Abu Dhabi, one of the few major oil exporting countries outside the OPEC fold, has now decided to join the club. The Ruler, Shaikh Zayid, sent in Abu Dhabigs application for OPEC membership last week, and the necessary formalities are expected to be

  • Gravity Differentials Post Problem For OPEC

    One snag which promises to loom large in the current negotiations between OPEC’s Middle East member states and their major concessionaires for the elimination of the tax discounts allowed under the 1964-65 royalty expensing settlement, is the problem of  gravity differentials

  • Iraq Follows Iran Footsteps In ERAP Deal

    A decisive new stage in the six-year-old conflict between the Iraqi Government and the Iraq Petroleum group has been reached with the announcement on 23 November of the signature of a contract deal between the Iraq National Gil Company (INCC) and France’s state group ERAP fo

  • Arab Summit Conference To Map Out Oil Strategy

    Amid the grim aftermath of total war, the Arab states have this week been taking stock of the political and economic weapons at their disposal for the continuation of their battle with Israel and “Anglo-American imperialism”. On the diplomatic plane, Algerian Premier

  • “Watershed” In International Oil

    Apart from a few loose ends, such as the as yet unresolved position of Shell, the Libyan oil price story would seem to be pretty much at an end as far as Libya itself is concerned (for details see page 3). But the ramifications throughout the oil industry have only just begun and

  • The OAPEC Charter

    The following is a summary of the main features of the Charter of the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC): Aims and objectives: The OAPEC Charter emphasizes the essentially economic and commercial character of the new organization. Article 2 states that

  • Establishment Of The UAE

    Whereas the Emirates of Abu Dhabi and Dubai concluded on 18 February 1968 an agreement for establishing a Federation between themselves in order to preserve stability in their two countries and ensure a better future for their peoples, and whereas it has been unanimously agree

  • Saudi Moves To Protect Interests

    The Saudi Oil Minister, Mr. Ahmad Zaki Yamani, has stated that his government will move to safeguard its interests if the free play of economic factors which has favored the continued growth of Saudi Arabia’s oil production is interfered with as a result of political pressure

  • Iraq Opts For Direct Development Of North Rumaila

    INOC Production Program Envisages Output of 100,000 b/d Within Three Years Rising to Eventual 360,000 b/d In a dramatic declaration on 10 April, the Iraq National Oil Company (INOC) announced that it had decided to go ahead with the direct development of the prolific North Rumai

  • Vienna Conference Endorses Principle of Government Participation in Major Concessions

    MEES News Editor Ian Seymour Reports from Vienna: The Sixteenth Conference of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) completed its business in remarkably quick time here in Vienna this week. However, the unanimous opinion in OPEC circles is that this two-day

  • Coup D’etat In Iraq

    This week’s issue of MEES is devoted to an analysis and documentation of the 17 July coup d’btat which overthrew the regime of President ‘Abd al-Rahman ‘Arif and Premier Tahir Yahya in Iraq. “NEW MEN” SPEARHEAD OVERTHROW OF ARIF REGIME In a lightning and apparently

  • The Vienna Resolution On Petroleum Policy

    “A powerful surge forward in the process of the unification of the Organization’s policies” is how OPEC Secretary General Francisco Parra describes the comprehensive declaration of policy by OPEC member countries which was issued this week. As previously predicted i

  • Clean Sweep For The Ba’th In Iraq

    Almost exactly two weeks after the military coup which toppled the ‘Arif-Yahya regime in Iraq, one segment of the new leadership has been swept away in a mini-coup staged by their erstwhile allies. The result: the demise of the short-lived movement of right-wing junior officers

  • Saudi-Iran Border Dispute Resolved

    The long-standing dispute between Saudi Arabia and Iran over the demarcation of the offshore continental shelf between the two countries has been resolved - a direct result of the high-level talks which began in Tayif, Saudi Arabia, earlier this month and, after a brief interva

  • Vienna Conference Offical Text

    “A powerful surge forward in the process of the unification of the Organization’s policies” is how OPEC Secretary General Francisco Parra describes the comprehensive declaration of policy by OPEC member countries which was issued this week. As previously predicted in MEE

  • OPEC Recommeds Denial

    As was predicted in MEES (15 November), the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has now formally come out with a clear warning to the major oil consuming countries not to exert excessive pressure to depress oil prices in international markets. This warning was

MEES Interview With Kuwaiti Minister of Finance and Oil Mr. ‘Abd al-Rahman Salim al-‘Atiqi

In a wide-ranging interview with MEES News Editor Ian Seymour in Kuwait this week, the Kuwaiti Minister of Finance and Oil, Mr. ‘Abd al-Rahman Salim al-‘Atiqi, outlined his views on participation, production growth and other oil issues of the moment. There follows the text of this interview in question and answer form:

Q: The principle of participation by host governments in the ownership of the concessionholding companies operating in their territories has been formally endorsed by OPEC and, in a recent speech in New York, * you yourself emphasized Kuwait’s desire to institute such participation. How soon do you plan to start negotiations on this issue with the oil companies operating in Kuwait7 And could you give some more precise indication of the government’s requirements in respect of its demand for participation?

A: Certainly Kuwait plans to initiate negotiations with the oil companies in this connection, but we have not yet asked them to set any specific date for this. Naturally, having expressed our point of view as regards participation, (more…)

  • The Oil Issue
    And Arab-Iranian Relations

    In terms of press coverage at least, the oil issue now seems to have moved to the forefront of the mounting list of problems between the Arab states and Iran. Partly, of course, the opening of the oil front in the Arab press - as exemplified by Shaikh ‘Abd Allah al-Tariki’s

  • Participation Must Extend Downstream

    As in previous years, the appearance of the Saudi Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Mr. Ahmad Zaki Yamani, at the American University of Beirut’s oil seminar has once again provided the occasion for a major oil policy speech. Before a packed audience of graduate s

  • Arab Oil Flow And Suez Canal Cut

    The flagrant Israeli aggression on the Arab countries, which began on the morning of Monday, 5 June, has now resulted in the closure of the Suez Canal and the virtually complete stoppage of the flow of oil from the Arab producing countries. The trigger for the oil cut off stemmed

  • Saudi Arabia’s Recoverable Oil Reserves Estimated at 142 Billion Barrels

    The final results of a reservoir survey program covering most of Saudi Arabia’s oilfields have now been completed. MEES is reliably informed that these surveys – which were carried out by the US firms McCord and Corelab on behalf of the Saudi Government have estimated that th

  • Participation vs Nationalization

    (The following is the approved text of the address delivered on 30 May 1969 by the Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources in Saudi Arabia, Mr. Ahmad Zaki Yamani, at the Third Seminar on the Economics of the International Petroleum Industry at the American University of Be

  • Iraq Gets 70m Soviet Loan

    This week has seen another dramatic development on the Iraqi oil front. Hard on the heels of its $72 million oil equipment and services credit agreement with the Iraq National Oil Company (INOC) the Soviet Union has now granted Iraq an ID 25-million ($70 million) loan to be us

  • Algeria Joins OPEC

    Tariki Journal Welcomes Algerian Membership in OPEC: The entry of Algeria into the Organization of Petrol Exporting Countries (OPEC) was welcomed in an editorial in the August issue of the Arabic-language Arab Oil and Gas Journal published by the Beirut-based Saudi oil consult

  • Libyan Coup Could Signify Major Realignment Of Arab Power Balance

    The overthrow of the Libyan monarchy, effected by a swift and decisive coup d*etat by a group of nationalist army officers on 1 September, could well signify a momentous realignment of the balance of forces in the Arab world. Up to now the inner dynamics of inter-Arab politics ha

  • Youth At The Helm In Libya

    Now in its second week in power and consolidated beyond any possible doubt with global recognition, the new revolutionary regime in Libya has already begun to exhibit a distinctive style of its own. Perhaps its most striking characteristic is the youthfulness of its members -

  • Oil Developments In Qatar

    MEES News Editor Ian Seymour recently visited the Arabian Gulf state of Qatar. The following is his report on the oil scene in that country. In 1969, crude oil production in the Arabian Gulf state of Qatar - a peninsula covering some 4,000 square miles with a population of ove

  • Qadhafi Heads New Libyan Government

    A new 13-man government, headed by Colonel Mu’ammar al-Qadhafi, was formed in Libya on 16 January. The new government replaces that of Dr. Mahmud al-Maghribi, which was formed following the 1 September 1969 coup that overthrew the monarchy in Libya (MEES, 5 and 12 September 196

  • Libya Launces Oil Price Negotiations

    Libya has now formally launched its long-awaited negotiations with the oil companies with a view to raising the posted prices of Libyan crude oil. Addressing the opening session of the talks in Tripoli on 29 January, Colonel Mu’ammar al-Qadhafi, President of Libya’s Revolu

  • Qadhafi Warns Oil Companies Against Resisting Libya’s Price Demands

    Colonel Mu’ammar al-Qadhafi, President of Libya’s Revolutionary Command Council and Prime Minister, has warned foreign oil companies against the consequences of resisting Libya’s demand for an increase in crude oil posted prices and the wages of company workers. Thi

  • US Interests Are in Danger, Says Libya

    Colonel Mu’ammar al-Qadhafi, President of Libya’s Revolutionary Command Council and. Prime Minister, has warned that US  interests in the Arab world may shortly be “threatened” as a result of the biased attitude of the US Government toward the Arab-Israeli conflict. C

  • OPEC Adopts Unified Price Strategy

    The 10 member states of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) - Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Libya, Indonesia, Algeria, Abu Dhabi and Qatar - have decided on a unified strategy via-a-via oil prices and plan to put it into operation with the utmo

  • Text of Shah’s Declaration to OPEC

    (The following is the text of the address delivered by the Shah of Iran to an open session of the OPEC conference held in the Iranian Senate House at 6 p. m. on 3 February.) Fate has decreed that within the short interval of two weeks I should talk to you about the vital role of

  • The Teheran Settlement: An Appraisal

    Even as late as a few months ago, the very idea of the producing countries of the Gulf achieving an across-the-board price increase of the magnitude of that agreed upon in Teheran on 14 February would have seemed almost inconceivable, particularly coming so soon after the Novembe

  • An Algerian Dossier

    Algeria’s partial nationalization of French oil interests has called forth a series of highly significant policy statements by top Algerian officials, notably President Boumediene himself and Industry and Energy Minister Belaid Abdesselam. The following is a collection of such

  • Threat Of Mediterranean Oil Embargo Looms If Minimum Price Levels Are Not Met

    MEES News Editor Ian Seymour Reports from Tripoli, Libya, 18 March:  It has been another week of touch and go in Tripoli, this time with the temperature hotting up to the extent of direct warnings of nationalization measures and/or an embargo on Mediterranean oil if the produci

  • Agreements Signed In Tripoli

    (MEES News Editor Ian Seymour who returned to Beirut from Tripoli on 1 April, the day before the agreements were signed in the Libyan capital, comments on this momentous development in the world oil industry.) So the seemingly interminable cliffhanger in Tripoli between the Li

  • Storm Clouds Over The Gulf

    However expected it may have been, Iran’s high-handed action in seizing three Arab-owned Gulf islands may well cast a long dark shadow over future Arab-Iranian relations in the world’s number one oil producing area. On the physical plane the Iranian occupation of the islands

  • OPEC Countries Plan To Negotiate With Oil Companies On Participation And Monetary Changes

    In the following report MEES Editor and Publisher Fuad Itayim and News Editor Ian Seymour record their impressions of the XXV (extraordinary) meeting of the OPEC Conference which took place in Beirut on 22 September. Two sets of important negotiations are to be initiated between

  • Libya Nationalizes BP’s Interest In Concession 65

    One dramatic outcome of Iran’s seizure of three Arab-owned islands in the Arabian Gulf was Libya’s surprise decision on 7 December to nationalize British Petroleum’s assets and producing interests in Concession 65, and to withdraw all its deposits from British banks. The L

  • Iraq Inaugurates North Rumaila Production And Signs Treaty With Soviet Union

    On 7 April, Mr. Saddam Husain, Vice President of the Revolutionary Command Council (RCC), acting on behalf of President Bakr of Iraq, presided over a ceremony marking the formal inauguration of oil production operations from the government-owned North Rumaila field. Held on the

  • Significant Documentation On Iraqi Oil Nationalization

    Statements by Iraqi Officials  On 4 June, Mr. Sadam Husain, the Vice President of the Revolutionary Command Council, received a 57-member French mission composed of representatives of businesses, organizations and companies which was visiting Baghdad on an inaugural Air France

  • The Us And Arab Oil: A State Department View

    (The following is the text of an address by Mr. James Akins, Director of the Office of Fuels and Energy in the US Department of State, before the Eighth Arab Petroleum Congress in Algiers on 2 June 1972. ) The United States, after all, is not only the seat of five of the eight m

  • Yamani Warns Against Formation Of Consumer Bloc

    The Saudi Minister of Petroleum and Minerals, Mr. Ahmad Zaki Yamani, has warned that any attempt by the oil consuming countries to form a bloc to counter the producing countries could lead to an oil war whose consequences would be damaging to the industrialized states. Mr. Yamani

  • OPEC Countries Demand Full Compensation For Dollar Devaluation

    The member countries of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries {OPEC) are demanding the amendment of the January 1972 Geneva agreement on crude oil price adjustments in response to changes in exchange rates “with a view to obtaining full compensation as a result

  • Saudi Arabia Links Oil Availability To Change In US Policy On Israel

    Saudi Arabia has told the United States that it will not significantly expand its present sil production unless Washington changes its pro-Israeli stance in the Middle East, according to a report in the Washington Post published on 19 April. The newspaper said that the Saudi Arab

  • Full Text Of Fulbright Speech

    (The following is the official text of the speech to the US Senate made by Senator William Fulbright on 21 May on “Oil and the Middle East” referred to in the last issue of MEES.) Underlying much of the current anxiety over the energy problem is the apprehension that an incr

  • US Expert Warns Of Possible Disruption Of Arab Oil Supplies Unless Us Changes Middle East Policy

    On 14 May, Mr. William F. Penniman Jr. gave testimony on the US energy crisis and the Middle East before the joint session of the US House of Representatives subcommittees on the Near East and South Asia and on Foreign Economic Policy. Mr. Penniman, formerly of Continental Oil an

  • Faisal Warns Us On Mideast Policy

    Saudi Arabia’s campaign to get the US to change its pro-Israel policy in the Middle East took on a significant escalation this week with a direct personal warning from King Faisal, who told two US newsmen that Saudi Arabia would find “difficult” to continue close cooperatio

  • US Seeks to Avoid “Drama” in Oil Relations

    On 11 July,Mr. William J. Casey, the US Under Secretary of State for Economic Affairs, testified on the outlook for world oil supplies before the Near East subcommittee of the House of Representatives. In his initial statement to the committee Mr. Casey stressed that a.s far as U

  • Oxy’s Libyan Deal Sets New Precedent In Participation Terms

    MEES News Editor Ian Seymour Reports from London, 17 August:  The long drawn-out deadlock between Libya and the oil companies on the participation/.control issue was broken wide open last weekend after Occidental Petroleum’s “acquiescence” to the government’s decree of

  • Prince Sa’ud Spells Out Saudi Guidelines On Use Of Oil As A Weapon

    As Arab lobbying for the use of oil as a political lever with which to pressure the US into modifying its pro-Israeli posture in the Arab-Israeli conflict continues unaba.ted, Saudi Arabia, the teading oil producer in the Arab world with potential reserves of some 300 billion bar

  • The Oil Weapon

    After a brisk one-day meeting at the headquarters of the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC) in Kuwait on 17 October, Oil Ministers from 10 Arab countries - Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, Libya, Algeria, Egypt, Syria, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain and Qatar - agreed upon

  • US Secretary of State Kissinger Warns of Possible Counter Measures Against Arab Oil Pressure

    The following is the text of remarks made by US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger regarding the Middle East in the course of a Washington press conference on 21 November: “Ladies and gentlemen, I will just make a very few brief observations about where we stand in the Middle

  • Arab Oil Cutbacks Bigger Than Expected

    With the Arab oil weapon becoming more and more the focus of attention in the Arab world following the worsening of the military situation, it looks as though the cutbacks in Arab oil production have been much more severe in practice than was expected at the time of the agreement

  • Arabs Maintain Tough Stand On Oil Cutback Measures

    MEES News Editor Ian Seymour reports from Vienna on the various oil meetings held in the Austrian capital during the past week - notably the review of the oil production cutback measures by the Arab Oil Ministers, the exchange of views on prices between the six OPEC state

  • OPEC Ready To Initiate Dialogue With Consuming Countries Following 130 Percent Increase In Gulf Posted Prices

    MEES News Editor Ian Seymour, who covered the OPEC price meeting in Teheran, reports:  At this stage it is still too early to identify all the manifold repercussions of OPEC’s momentous decision to raise posted prices and government oil revenue in the Gulf states by some 130

  • President Nixon’s Letter to Eight Oil Consuming Countries

    The following is the text of the identical letters sent by US President Nixon on 9 January to the heads of governments of eight major oil consuming countries - Canada, Brita.in, the Federal Republic of Germany, France, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands and Norway – inviting these c

  • US Calls Consumer Meeting For 11 February Proposes Subsequent Talks Between Producers And Consumers

    The United States has launched a major initiative to solve the current energy crisis by inviting eight major consuming countries to a meeting in Washington in February, to be followed at an unspecified date by conferences and consultations between the consuming countries and repr

  • VP Saddam Husain Urges Nationalization
    Rather Than Participation

    In an interview with the Kuwait daily aI-Siyasah, published on 5 March, Mr. Saddam Husain, Vice President of Iraq’s Revolutionary Command Council, urged the Arab states to nationalize their oil operations rather than opt for any participation formula, and called upon the Arab s

  • Arabs Lift Oil Embargo On Us With Libya And Syria Dissenting

    (Two significant oil meetings took place in Vienna during the past week - the Conference of Arab Oil Ministers which decided to lift the embargo on oil exports to the United States and the Conference of the 13-nation Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) which agre

  • Oil Consumers And Producers: Confrontation On The Horizon?

    The new US campaign to unite the oil consuming countries in order to confront the economic and financial consequences of the energy crisis - launched by President Ford’s address to the UN on 18 September (MEES 20 September) - gathered pace this week with hardline speeches by Pr

  • Demand Cutbacks: The New Us Weapon To Lower Oil Prices

    It is now abundantly clear that the major emphasis in the US-sponsored campaign for lower oil prices has shifted from the pinning of hopes on Saudi efforts within OPEC to plans for large-scale reductions in oil consumption in the major industrialized countries. The theory is that

  • OPEC Adopts New Pricing System Based On Average Government Take of $10.12/B

    Convening for their XLII Conference in Vienna on 12 December, the member states of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) had two main proposals before them as regards the formulation of a new pricing system. One was the Iranian proposal for the a

  • Kissinger And The Use Of Force

    The row over Dr. Kissinger’s statements about the use of force in the Middle East stems not so much from what he actually said as from the fact that he chose to mention the matter at all in a published interview as a possibility, however remote, at this delicate stage i

  • What Constitutes Strangulation?

    The process of defining just what action by the Arab oil producers would provoke US military intervention in the Middle East - a subject which has been out in the open since US Sec- retary of State Henry Kissinger raised it in an interview published on 13 January - moved

  • Kissinger On World Energy Problems

    (The following is the text of the address delivered by US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger on 3 February at the National Press Club in Washington regarding the world energy problem. ) Ladies and gentlemen: I appreciate this opportunity to speak to you on the question

  • Kuwait Decides On 100% Takeover

    Kuwait too has now decided on a 100 percent takeover of oil operations in its territory, by acquiring the remaining 40 percent equity currently held by British Petroleum and Gulf Gil in the Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) venture. The following official announcement to this e

  • Saudi Arabia: Continuity Is The Watchword

    The tragic death of King Faisal of Saudi Arabia leaves a series of heavy question marks looming over the Middle East oil and political scene. Taking astute advantage of the opportunities conferred by his country’s immense oil reserves and the growing cash flows from ris

  • Saudi Arabia Will Abandon Stake Within OPEC If Confrontation Develops With Consumers

    Saudi Oil Minister Ahmad Zaki Yamani has delivered a clear warning that if a confrontation situation develops between OPEC and the industrialized world following the failure of the Paris talks, then Saudi Arabia might be obliged to abandon its moderating role within OPEC.

  • Terrorist Attack Cuts Conference Short

    What had originally promised to be a fairly routine meeting of the OPEC Conference (No. XLVI in the series) in Vienna last weekend exploded into the world’s headlines when the OPEC headquarters containing leading oil officials of the 13 member states, including 11 ministers, we

  • The Dialogue: What Prospects For Relaunching?

    Whether Dr. Kissinger’s new proposals for reconvening the Paris preparatory meeting will actually be sufficient to relaunch the producer-consumer dialogue on a sound footing remains to be seen. The prospects are perhaps none too bright, considering that the US Secretary

  • OPEC Maintains Price Freeze Till End-September

    Meeting in Libreville this week, the 13 member countries of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) reaffirmed their December 1974 decision to continue the freeze of crude oil prices until the end of September 1975, while serving clear notice that these p

  • Saud Arabia And Aramco Reach Agreement On Takeover

    Saudi Arabia and the US owner companies of Aramco (Exxon, Texaco, Standard Oil of California and M.obiJ oil) have reached agreement on the broad lines of the 100 percent takeover of the company by the Saudi Government. only various details remain to be finalized at

  • OPEC Clears The Air On Differentials

    OPEC has succeeded in "clearing the air and eliminating tension" on the vexed question of crude oil price differentials. This was the verdict of one highly-placed OPEC source talking to MEES after the one- day consultative meeting of OPEC Oil Ministers held in Genev

  • Qatar Opts For 100% Takeover Combined With Management Contract

    The Government of Qatar has recently taken a firm decision on the future shape of its oil industry. This top-level decision, MEES is reliably informed, envisages a 100% government takeover of the oil producing ventures operating in Qatar (presently owned 60% by the

  • After Price Reunification: Differentials Still A Problem

    The long-awaited announcement to the effect that the majority of OPEC countries have decided to drop their scheduled 5% oil price increase on 1 July finally came through last week. A brief statement, issued in Vienna on 29 June by OPEC Secretary General Ali Jaidah,

  • OPEC Seminar looks At 1985

    ‘To put it bluntly, the oil consumer governments continue to live in a dream world. I am convinced that deep down they know the situation is as I have described it - namely that unless we take some very important steps now we are heading for a major energy crisis

  • OPEC: Price Disagreement Means De Facto Freeze For 1978

    As predicted in last week’s MEES, the OPEC conference in Caracas resulted in no increase in the price of crude oil. ‘IThe Freeze Front” of five Gulf states - Saudi Arabia, Iran, the UAE, Kuwait and Qatar - held firm in their resolve not to raise prices, and si

  • Oil Prices And The US Dollar

    The idea of indexing the dollar values of crude oil prices against a basket of major currencies, which was already gathering momentum at the OPEC conference in Caracas last month (MEES, 26 December 1977) has now received a measure of public backing from  Saudi Arabia, t

  • Saudi Arabia Has Absorbed 1.5 Million B/D of Existing Oil Glut

    The Saudi Oil Minister, Saikh Ahmad Zaki Yamani, has stated that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has borne the brunt of disposing of the glut in the oil market, and added that some 1.5 million b/d of oil have "disappeared" from the market thanks to Saudi Arabia which implem

  • Khomeini Guarantees Western Oil Supplies

    The most intransigent of the Shah of Iran’s opponents, Ayotallah Khomeini, has stated that should an Islamic republic of the type he is advocating be established in Iran, oil supplies to the west from Iran will be guaranteed. The Ayatollah, speaking in Paris on 29 Novem

  • Iran Totters On The Brink

    At MEES press time (on Friday 29 December) the situation in Iran appears to be almost beyond control. Economically the country faces total breakdown, with oil production and exports shut down, the banking system out of operation, imports, mail and communications disrupted

  • After The Shah’s Exit: A Trial Of Strength

    If there is one thing that emerges clearly from the confused situation in Iran, it is that the exit of the Shah’marks the beginning rather than the end of the decisive phase of the struggle for power in that country. In other words: more political turmoil and, despite the c

  • Prices: The Pressure Builds Up

    Pressure on the OPEC price front is building up rapidly to a point where it cannot be contained. Already Abu Dhabi and Qatar have slapped on market premiums of around a dollar a barrel - a relatively modest increment considering that the spot market premium has soared to arou

  • Price Confusion Deepens As Iran Resumes Exports

    After a shutdown of over two months Iran is definitely resuming its crude oil exports on Monday, 5 March - the 12th anniversary of the death of former Premier Mohammed Mossadegh - but the targeted level of output and the time frame for reaching it are still far from clear. L

  • A Multi-Tier Price Structure For OPEC

    Following its Geneva Conference on 26-27 March, OPEC has emerged not with a two-tier but rather with a multi-tier price structure effective 1 April, and the feeling in OPEC circles is that this state of affairs is likely to persist so long as the crude oil market remains tigh

  • Iraq And Indonesia Raise Prices In May

    Two OPEC countries - Iraq and Indonesia - have raised their official crude oil selling prices in May. Both these countries had lagged somewhat behind the general level of OPEC price increases which came into effect on 1 April, so that the current rises may be seen as a readju

  • Kuwait Oil Minister Foresees More Prices Rises This Year

    “Frankly, with the market going as it is, I cannot see how further price increases can be avoided during the rest of this year. "This is the forecast of Kuwait’s Minister of Oil, Shaikh ‘Ali Khalifah al-Sabah, made in an interview with MEES News Editor Ian Seymour.

  • Libya, Abu Dhabi Raise Official Prices As Spot Market Prices Leap Ahead

    Iran’s 60-cent price increase effective 15 May (MEES, 14 May) has indeed sparked off a new price landslide on the OPEC front. On 16 May Libya came out with a 70-cent rise, followed by Abu Dhabi with 80 cents on 17 May. It is presumed that other Gulf producers - p

  • Algeria Official Prices Hit $21/Barrel

    Algeria has now pushed way out ahead of the field in the OPEC oil price stakes. In a telexed message to its contract customers on 21 May, the national company Sonatrach has pro- posed a new price of $2l/barrel for 44’ API Saharan Blend with effect from 16 May - an in- creas

  • UAE Turns Down $40/Barrel For $18/B OPEC Price

    The UAE Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Dr. Mana Saeed al-Otaiba, has disclosed that his country had turned down offers of $40 a barrel for its crude on a spot basis from certain oil companies but added that “we turned down these offers and adhered to the OPEC

  • No Abatement In Oil Price Spiral

    The oil price spiral still shows no signs of abating and - short of a miraculous in- crease in supply and/or an equally miraculous fall in consumption - there seems to be no compelling reason why it should tail off at all in the near future at least. During the past week no

  • Iraq: “Most-Favored-Seller” Clause

    A new move by Iraq on the OPEC price front could have the effect of boosting the price of Gulf crude to around $20/barrel with effect from 1 June, MEES understands. MEES learns that Iraq has notified its crude oil customers that a “most-favored-seller” clause is to be in

  • Kuwait Follows Iraq With “Most-Favored-Seller” Clause

    The principle of the most-favored-seller clause in crude oil contracts initiated by Iraq earlier this month (MEES, 11 and 18 June) is now spreading to other Gulf countries. Last week Kuwait notified its crude oil customers that it too would introduce such a clause effective 1

  • OPEC Clamps $23.50/Barrel Ceiling On Oil Prices

    ‘Not an ideal solution, not by any means a unified price, but at least better than the previous free-for-all,’ seemed to be the general verdict on the outcome of last week’s OPEC Conference in Geneva. Although leaving differentials between individual crudes in a gene

  • OPEC Price Ceiling In Jeopardy

    MEES understands that Nigeria has told its crude oil contract customers that a special market premium of at least $3.00 a barrel and possibly up to $5.00/barrel over and above the official OPEC prices will be charged with effect from 1 October. This special pre- mium will app

  • Spot Market Takes Off Again

    In the current conditions of extreme anxiety/in the crude oil market, spot prices have taken off again to new heights - in some cases breaking through the hitherto impermeable $40/ barrel barrier. By 12 October cargoes of Iranian Light were being quoted at ‘$40.50/barrel a

  • Bang Goes The OPEC $23.50/Barrel Ceiling

    Not altogether unexpectedly the latest round of price increases by some OPEC members has burst clean through the rather flimsy ceiling of $23.50/barrel agreed upon at the OPEC Conference in Geneva last June. Last week - following the previous week’s increase of 4; 1. 94/bar

  • Iran Asking $50/Barrel For Spot Crude

    There is still no sign of any abatement of the price fever on world crude oil mar- kets. Only a couple of weeks ago, spot prices - perhaps more accurately the prices some governments were asking for spot cargoes, since traders’ quotations were at a somewhat lower level - bu

  • US Stops Oil Imports from Iran and Freezes Iranian Assets in US

    As the occupation of the American Embassy in Teheran by students demanding the extradition of the Shah from the US nears the end of its second week there is still no solution to the crisis in sight, In the face of the continued intransigence - or powerlessness - of the Irania

  • Iran Cancels Crude Deliveries To US Companies

    The expected sequel to the reciprocal US and Iranian destination embargoes on imports/exports of Iranian oil into/to the United States - that is Iranian action to halt crude deliveries to US companies regardless of the destination of the oil - came on 15 November when Iran’

  • Carter Breaks Diplomatic Relations With Iran

    President Carter’s decision on 7 April to break diplomatic relations with Iran, in response to a final rejection by Ayatollah Khomeini of the proposal to transfer control of the US hostages in Teheran from the students holding them at the embassy to the government, has brou

  • War Halts Oil Supply From Iraq And Iran

    The conflict between Iraq and Iran, which over the past week has escalated from minor border skirmishes into a full-scale war with no holds barred, has now culminated in the complete suspension of oil exports from the two countries - thus withdrawing almost 4 million b/d of o

  • OPEC Agrees On $32-36/B Marker Price Spread

    The big surprise of this week's OPEC Conference in Bali was the extent to which its actual accomplishments transcended the rather gloomy prognosis earlier advanced by observers and OPEC officials alike. Originally the main aim of holding the Bali Conference at all had been no

  • Libya Moves To $41/B OPEC Price Ceiling

    As the 1981 price scene begins to take shape, the most striking move to date has been Libya’s decision to raise its official crude prices by $4/barrel, thus moving directly to the $4l/barrel maximum price for all crudes set by OPEC at its recent con- ference in Ba

  • Gulf Producers Raise Official Prices By $4/B To Reach $36/B Ceiling

    In a rather surprising move three Gulf producers - Kuwait, Iraq and Qatar - have raised their official prices for exported crude oil by $4/barrel with effect from 1 January 1981, thus reaching the marker crude ceiling of $36/barrel decided upon at the OPEC Con- ference in

  • OPEC Countries Hope To Revive Long-Term Strategy

    One of the more important casualties of the outbreak of the Iran-Iraq war last September was the long-term strategy plan which OPEC was in the process of finalizing after more than two years of intensive staff work. A good deal of progress toward overall approval of the p

  • No Output Cut Before Price Unification Says Yamani

    In his forthright comments in the course of a recent American TV interview the Saudi Arabian Oil Minister, Shaikh Ahmad Zaki Yamani, has made it crystal clear that his government does not intend to budge from its high-production strategy until its goal of OPEC-wide stabi

  • Uneasy Status Quo Persists On OPEC Price Front

    Two bedrock facts, as much political as economic in nature, dominated the proceedings of this week's OPEC conference in Geneva. One was the adamant refusal of Saudi Arabia to raise its current crude oil price of $32/barrel unless the other OPEC members agreed to lower th

  • No Production Cut Envisaged In Saudi Arabia

    Contrary to recent media reports from London and New York, Saudi Arabia has no intention of reducing its oil output for the time being. This was confirmed to MEES on 26 June by an authoritative official Saudi source. In specific denial of reports cited by the BBC and

  • Yamani Predicts Erosion Of Prices Over Next Few Years

    Though the Saudi Oil Minister, Shaikh Ahmad Zaki Yamani, is hopeful about the prospects of reunifying the OPEC price structure between now and the end of the year, he predicts that there will probably be an erosion of prices in real terms up to 1986, after which stronger

  • Yamani Spells Out Conditions For Relaunch of North-South Dialogue

    MEES Executive Editor Ian Seymour Reports from Vienna:   The Saudi Oil Minister, Shaikh Ahmad Zaki Yamani, has spelled out what would be OPEC's conditions for a relaunching of the Dialogue between the industrialized North and the developing South. Shaikh Yamani's pres

  • Spot Market Slide Intensifies Pressure On Crude Prices

    The spectacular slide in spot prices for crude oil over the past couple of weeks, amid an ever more depressed market/price situation for both crude and products, has begun to put a question mark over the stability of the present crude oil price structure as a whole. Although p

  • Market Weakness Intensifies Pressure On Official Prices

    The past week has witnessed no let up in the seemingly inexorable erosion of spot prices under the impact of excessively weak demand and surplus crude availability, which in turn is exerting mounting pressure on the whole structure of official crude prices, both OPEC and non-OPEC

  • OPEC Monitoring Committee Finds Encouraging Signs Of Market Response to OPEC Stabilization Plan

    MEES Executive Editor Ian Seymour Reports from Vienna on the Meeting of the OPEC Monitoring Committee: OPEC Ministers represented on the OPEC monitoring committee which met here in Vienna on 21 April have professed themselves highly encouraged by the way the market has reacted

  • Venezuela to Increase Production by 400,000 b/d

    Venezuela's decision to abandon its 1. 5mn bid quota restriction under the OPEC production program and restore its original 1982 oil output and export targets will entail an increase in production of some 400, 000 b/d to an average of 1.9mn bId for the rest of the year, MEES und

  • OPEC Reaffirms Backing For $34.00/B Price And 17.5Mn b/d Ceiling

    MEES Executive Editor Ian Seymour Reports from Vienna, 20 August: OPEC's Ministerial Monitoring Committee, the special group composed of the Oil Ministers of the UAE, Venezuela, Algeria and Indonesia, has reaffirmed in unequivocal terms its backing for the current $34. 00/B O

  • Otaiba Calls For Price Freeze Through 1985

    MEES Executive Editor Ian Seymour Reports from Oxford: Dr. Mana Saeed al-Otaiba, the UAE Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Re­ sources and current Chairman of OPEC's Ministerial Committee for Monitoring Oil Market Developments, has calledfor an extension of the freeze on OPEC

  • OPEC Buckles Down To Long Term Strategy

    Although much work remains to be done, the main issues facing OPEC in the years to come were brought sharply into focus at the meeting of OPEC's Ministerial Committee on Long-Term Strategy (MCLTS) held in London on 15-16 November under the Chairmanship of Shaikh Ahmad Zak

  • OPEC Prepares To Defend World Oil Price Structure

    As was only to be expected, given the potential- ly bleak outlook for the oil market over the next few months, the OPEC member countries have decided to maintain their 17.5mn b/d production ceiling and component national quotas unchanged for the time being. But, of course

  • Non-OPEC Joins OPEC In Price Maintenance

    The past week has witnessed what is perhaps a very significant milestone in oil history. With none of the hesitations and soul-searchings that were so evident in the aftermath of OPEC's London agreement last March, the major non-OPEC oil exporters in the North Sea and Mex

  • Oil Exporters Plan Deep Production Cuts To Defend Price Structure

    MEES Executive Editor Ian Seymour reports from London Last week's oil price panic, sparked off by a Norwegian drop on Monday which was swiftly followed by reactive cuts by two other Atlantic Basin exporters the UK and Nigeria on Wednesday and Thursday, will probably turn out to b

  • OPEC Gets Its Act Together

    MEES Executive Editor Ian Seymour Reports from Geneva on the OPEC Conference, 29-31 October: Though a climate of scepticism may linger on in media and oil trading circles for some time to come, all the hard evidence available in Geneva indicates that OPEC has truly succeeded in

  • Market Still Uncertain About OPEC Price Stabilization Plan

    Although some underlying firming up of spot crude prices has been in evidence over the past week, it is clear that the market is still nervous and uncertain about the effectiveness of the 1.5mn b/d cut in the OPEC ceiling to 16mn b/d in setting the price structure to rights. O

  • Iranian Oil Output Hits 2.7mn b/d in 1982-83

    After averaging between 1.4mn b/d and 1.5mn b/d in 1980-81 and 1981-82, Iranian oil output jumped to 2.7mn b/d in 1982-83*, according to statistics published by the Iranian Central Bank. Crude oil exports registered a similar increase, rising from 791,000 b/d in 1981-82 to 1,897,

  • The Latest Oil Price Crisis: A Saudi View

    (The following article on developments in the latest oil price crisis - translated by MEES from the original Arabic - appeared in the 15 November issue of the Saudi weekly magazine Iqraa. The authorship is anonymous - being billed only as having been written by a "neutral interna

  • OPEC Ministers Warn Proposed Switch In North Sea Pricing Could Lead To Price War

    Several OPEC Ministers - from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Venezuela, Indonesia and Qatar - have issued statements deploring the reported intention of the UK and Norway to switch their North Sea oil pricing to a system based on spot market prices. Shaikh Ahmad Zaki Yamani of Saudi Arabi

  • Soviet Union
    Double Proposed Purchases From Iran

    The Soviet Union has agreed to double its proposed purchases of Iranian natural gas and to cooperate with the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) in oil exploration and development ventures in open areas in Iran. A protocol to this effect was signed in Teheran by Iranian and

  • OPEC Differentials:
    Only A First Step

    MEES Executive Editor Ian Seymour Reports on the Conclusion of OPEC's Geneva Conference, 27-29 December After the resounding success of its agreement on 28 December on far-reaching measures to police production and price discipline in member states (MEES, 31 December), OPEC's hal

  • Iran Launches Sales Drive
    To Regain Lost Volume

    All the indications are that Iran is making a determined drive to regain oil export volumes lost over the past couple of months, but that in doing so it is being careful to keep its sales as close to OPEC price rules as war and market conditions permit. Largely owing to the recen

  • OPEC Ministerial Monitoring Committee
    Warn Of Market Turn

    MEES Reports from Geneva. Despite the relative degree of price stability prevailing since the end of January, the oil market remains "inherently weak" and it is essential that OPEC member countries should strictly observe their 16mn b/d crude oil production ceiling if fresh tr

  • Algerian Government Approves New Legislation To Encourage Foreign Participation

    The Algerian Government has approved new legislation designed to boost oil exploration by allowing for flexible terms, in line with prevailing conditions elsewhere in the world, for participation by foreign firms. The new draft law on exploration, which was approved by the cabine

  • Saudi Arabia Warns Members On Consequences Of Production And Price Indiscipline

    MEES Executive Editor Ian Seymour Reports on the OPEC Consultations in Taif Saudi Arabia has served formal notice on its OPEC partners that it can no longer tolerate the persistent indiscipline in OPEC ranks with regard to production and prices, which is placing an unacceptabl

  • OPEC In Suspense
    Until Next Meeting

    MEES Executive Editor Ian Seymour Reports on the OPEC Consultative Meeting in Vienna, 5-7 July Although it did succeed, in extremis, in reaching a "consensus" on the need to reestablish price and production discipline, the OPEC consultative meeting in Vienna has left a whole b

  • OPEC Surmounts Price Differentials Hurdle
    But Major Problems Remain

    MEES Executive Editor Ian Seymour Reports on OPEC's Geneva Conference, 22-25 July On the face of it, the modest reduction in the official prices of heavy and medium crudes within the context of differential adjustment, combined with the postponement of discussion and action on

  • OPEC At Twenty-Five:
    Stability Through Cooperation

    There follows the text of the press release issued by the OPEC Secretariat in Vienna on 14 September 1985, on the occasion of the Organization's 25th anniversary. Today, the organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is 25 years old. The prime objectives of the O

  • OPEC Fails To Agree
    On New Quota Distribution

    MEES Executive Editor Ian Seymour Reports from Vienna 4 October Given the various constraints - such as the political fallout from the Iraq-Iran war, to say nothing of the many other individual problems of the OPEC member states - OPEC's failure at its Vienna meeting to agree

  • Saudi Arabia, OPEC
    And Non-OPEC

    Ian Seymour reports on current Saudi thinking on the changing relationship between OPEC and non-OPEC oil exporters. Talking with Saudi oil strategists these days, one is struck by the extent to which their thinking is focusing on the changed and still changing relationship bet

  • IEA Sets Up System
    To Monitor Products Flows

    The International Energy Agency (IEA) has established a system to monitor the movement of oil products in its 21 member countries as a follow-up to the decisions taken last July aimed at avoiding a round of protectionist measures on products imports, particularly from the new ref

  • OPEC’s Policy Switch
    Carries Momentous Implications Oil Market

    MEES Executive Editor Ian Seymour Reports on the Outcome of OPEC's Geneva Conference and its Implications Although the first panic reaction in the market may prove to have been greatly overdone in terms of the actual supply/demand balance over the next few months, there can be

  • OPEC Freedom Of Pricing:
    How Far Can It Go?

    Although OPEC has not abandoned its official oil price structure in any formal sense - that is by any decision of the Ministerial Conference there is no doubt that the statement by Dr. Otaiba of the UAE proclaiming freedom of pricing for OPEC members (with the proviso of continue

  • All OPEC Countries Now Enjoy Complete Freedom in Pricing Oil, Says Otaiba

    According to the UAE Oil Minister, Dr. Mana Saeed al-Otaiba, all OPEC countries now enjoy complete freedom in pricing their oil and the only remaining obligation incumbent upon OPEC members is to respect their production quota ceilings. Dr. Otaiba, who is also Chairman of OPEC's

  • US Bans Import of
    Libyan Petroleum Products

    US President Ronald Reagan has issued an executive order banning the importation of refined petroleum products from Libya, saying that the country is circumventing a February 1982 ban on crude oil imports while continuing "terrorist" activities. The Presidential statements issued

  • Op-Ed:
    The Role Of OPEC In Garret Stabilization

    by Fadhil J. Al-Chalabi (The following is the out line of a paper on "The Role of OPEC in Market Stabilization," delivered by Dr. Fadhil J. Al-Chalabi, Deputy Secretary General of OPEC, at the Seventh International Colloquium on Petroleum Economics, held by Laval University in

  • OPEC Ponders
    Defense Of Minimum Market Share

    MEES Executive Editor Ian Seymour Reports from Geneva, 6 December One crucial issue has been looming large in the consultative run-up to the OPEC ministerial conference which opens here in Geneva on 7 December - namely a growing consciousness in OPEC mainstream opinion that a

  • Reagan Measures Will Halt Liftings Of Libyan Crude By US Equity Holders

    Although in the absence of European participation the overall economic effect on Libya of President Reagan's punitive trade and financial sanctions is not likely to be crushing, it does nevertheless seem that the US measures may cause some significant disruption in the oil market

  • Text Of US Executive Order On Trade Measures Against Libya

    There follow the texts of President Reagan's 7 January 1986 Executive Order on trade measures against Libya, together with other related documents. Text of Executive Order on Libya By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and Laws of the United States

  • Saudi Arabia And UK
    To Hold Talks On Oil Issues

    Saudi Arabia and Britain have agreed to hold bilateral talks on oil issues. Reports to this effect, which surfaced in the middle of last week following a visit to Saudi Arabia by the UK Foreign Secretary, Sir Geoffrey Howe, have been confirmed by MEES from authoritative Saudi so

  • Yamani Warns
    Prices Could Go Below $15/B

    The Saudi Oil Minister, Shaikh Ahmad Zaki Yamani, has warned that unless an agreement on market stabilization is reached between OPEC and the non-OPEC producers, the current slide in oil prices could continue to under $15/B. In a statement to OPECNA on 23 January - the day aft

  • Op-Ed:
    We Are Worried

    by Robert Mabro & Nordine Ait-Laoussine All oil exporting countries - whether developing or industrialized, members or non--members of OPEC - will incur in 1986, and probably in years beyond, the heavy economic and financial costs of recent petroleum policies. The current

  • Test Of Nerves In The
    Oil Market

    MEES Executive Editor Ian Seymour Reports from Vienna After another week of near-chaos in world oil markets, during which the price of Brent crude ended up more or less as it began, at around $18/B, the situation appears to be hardening more and more in the direction of a grim

  • Thatcher Adamant on Non-Intervention: Norway Equivocates

    The British Prime Minister, Mrs. Margaret Thatcher, has again reiterated that despite the recent fall in oil prices the UK has no plans to intervene in the oil market or to cooperate with other producers to stabilize the situation. Replying to a parliamentary question in this reg

  • OPEC Vienna Committee Meeting:
    Crunch Time For Oil

    MEES Executive Editor Ian Seymour Reports on the OPEC Scene after the Vienna Committee Meeting Last week's meeting (3-4 February) of the five-member OPEC ministerial committee on policy options left the world oil market very much as it found it - that is to say with the barome

  • Saudi Government Stresses Need for Non-OPEC Cooperation

    The Saudi Government has again confirmed that in its view the only solution to the present crisis in the oil market lies in cooperation between the OPEC and non-OPEC producers. The government's position was expressed by the Information Minister, Mr. 'Ali al-Shatir, who issued a s

  • Op-Ed:
    Oil Prices: What Next?

    by Nordine Ait-Laoussine (The following is the text of a paper delivered by Mr. Nordine Ait-Laoussine at a seminar organized by the Energy Policy Foundation of Norway at Sanderstolen, Norway, on 7 February 1986. Mr. Ait-Laoussine is President of the Geneva-based consulting fir

  • Op-Ed:
    Two Views On OPEC’s Current Dilemma

    The following are two views on OPEC's current dilemma recently put forward by Mr. Peter Holmes and Mr. Francisco Parra. Mr. Peter Holmes is Chairman of Shell Transport and Trading Company and a Group Managing Director of the Royal Dutch/Shell Group of Companies. Mr. Francisco Par

  • Soviets Seek Market Stabilization Agreements with OPEC and Other Oil Exporters

    The Soviet ambassador to Venezuela, Mr. Ivan Vialias, has stated unequivocally that the Soviet Union is interested in reaching agreements with OPEC and other oil exporters in order to stabilize the world oil market. In an interview with the official Venezuelan news agency in Cara

  • GCC And Saudi Arabia
    Stand Firm On Oil Policy

    In the run-up to the OPEC conference in Geneva on 16 March, the positions of the various parties were further sharpened and clarified last week. Three distinguishable types of position have now taken shape: firstly that of the Saudiled group of Arabian peninsula exporters who hol

  • Opec/Non-Opec Reach Understanding On Market Stabilization, OPEC Divided On Production

    MEES Executive Editor Ian Seymour Reports from Geneva Despite the achievement of an encouraging memorandum of understanding on prices and market stabilization objectives between OPEC and five non-OPEC oil exporting countries on Friday evening (21 March), there was no sign what

  • Yamani Again Stresses
    Role of North Sea

    On the eve of the OPEC meeting in Geneva the Saudi Oil Minister, Shaikh Ahmad Zaki Yamani, has again warned that unless the North Sea producers join in a program to stabilize prices "disaster lies ahead," a disaster for which the UK "would bear the lion's share of the blame." Whe

  • President Khamenei of Iran
    Message To OPEC

    The following is the text of the message sent by President Khamenei of Iran to the 77th OPEC Extraordinary Conference. "The unfavorable international oil market situation and the threat it poses to the politico-economic life of the OPEC members moves me to draw to the attentio

  • Restabilization Of Oil Market Depends On Non-Opec Cooperation, Says Yamani

    Saudi Arabia's Oil Minister, Shaikh Ahead Zaki Yamani, has strongly reaffirmed his view that stability can only be restored to the world oil market if the non-OPEC exporters, with particular emphasis on the UK, cooperate with OPEC in a global accord on production regulation. Spea

  • Iraq Wants 13.1% Share
    Of OPEC Production

    Dr. Razzi Salman, Iraq's Chief Delegate at the 16-24 March OPEC Conference in Geneva, has confirmed that Iraq is insisting that its OPEC quota must be equivalent to 13.1% of total OPEC output and that anything less would be absolutely unacceptable. In a Geneva interview with MEES

  • Oil Price Crash
    Confronts The US With Deepening Dilemma

    Despite all the ostensible rejoicing over lower oil prices in the non-energy sectors of the US economy, it is increasingly clear that the oil price crash is confronting the US Government with a deepening policy dilemma, which is not going to just fade away. In blunt terms, the

  • OPEC Majority
    Decide To Go Their Own Way

    MEES Executive Editors Ian Seymour and Walid Khadduri Report on the Outcome of OPEC's Geneva Conference Which Ended on 21 April Despite the by no means unexpected defection of the three hard-liners - Iran, Algeria and Libya - the firm decision of the 10-member OPEC majority to

  • MEES Interview With Saudi Oil Minister
    Shaikh Ahmad Zaki Yamani

    On 22 April, following the OPEC Conference, the Saudi Oil Minister, Shaikh Ahmad Zaki Yamani, briefed a small group of correspondents including MEES Executive Editor Walid Khadduri in Geneva. The following is the question and answer text of this press briefing: Q: There seems

  • Big Production Surge
    Overhangs OPEC’s Brioni Conference

    Though the ultimate outcome of OPEC's vital ministerial conference in Brioni, Yugoslavia, is still shrouded in the murkiest uncertainty, one fact is nevertheless beyond dispute, namely that the meeting coincides with a major upsurge in OPEC output which could have serious repercu

  • Brioni: OPEC Edges Towards Majority Agreement On Price And Production Targets

    MEES Editor Ian Seymour Reports from Brioni, Yugoslavia, on the Progress of the OPEC Conference After several days of free-ranging but productive discussions between OPEC Oil Ministers in the relaxed atmosphere of Yugoslavia's exclusive holiday resort on Brioni Island, the out

  • Tough Going
    For OPEC In Geneva

    MEES Editor Ian Seymour Reports from Geneva on the Progress of the OPEC Conference, 1 August With no agreement in sight on new quotas and as yet no firm commitment on a stop-gap deal which would take at least some oil out of the present glutted market, the outlook for OPEC her

  • Ceasefire
    On The OPEC Front

    MEES Editor Ian Seymour Reports on the outcome of OPEC's Geneva Conference At least one thing can be said about OPEC conferences - they are never lacking in surprises, even for the leading participants and closest observers. Had anyone ventured, three or four days earlier, to

  • Non-OPEC Producers Welcome Geneva Decisions: US Cavils

    Reactions to the OPEC production cuts decided on in Geneva has ranged from pledges of complementary output reductions from two non-OPEC producers, through vaguer assertions of support from others, to predictable hostility from the US. Mexico announced on 5 August that it will

  • Saudi Arabia Acts
    To Curb Oil Production

    MEES understands that Saudi Arabia is taking significant steps to curb its oil production in August before the two-month OPEC cutback agreement comes into force on 1 September. Under that agreement (MEES, 11 August) the OPEC member states, with the exception of Iraq, have comm

  • Norwegian Oil Minister Hints US Is Urging Norway Not to Cooperate with OPEC

    Without actually saying it in so many words, Norway's Oil Minister, Mr. Arne Oeien, has hinted broadly that the United States has been doing its best to persuade Norway not to cooperate with OPEC in any production control agreement. In an interview with a business publication in

  • Norway Will Cut Exports
    By 10%

    In a move specifically designed to support OPEC's efforts to improve and stabilize oil prices, the Norwegian Government has announced plans to cut its oil exports by 10% in November and December.* At the same time, according to an official government statement on the subject, the

  • Op-Ed:
    The 1986 Oil Price War: An Economic Fiasco

    by Nordine Ait-Laoussine and John C. Gault (The following article by Nordine Ait-Laoussine and John C. Gault is based on a presentation at the Oxford Energy Seminar on 11 September. Mr. Ait- Laoussine is President of the Geneva-based petroleum consulting firm NALCOSA. Mr. Gaul

  • OPEC Progresses
    Towards Production Accord

    MEES Editor Ian Seymour Reports from Geneva, 10 October After five days of slow-moving but purposeful deliberations here in Geneva, the OPEC Oil Ministers appear to be making steady progress towards an agreement on production regulation to follow on from the current two-month tem

  • New OPEC Accord Expected Expected To Hold Oil Market Steady Till Year End

    MEES Editor Ian Seymour Reports on the New Interim Production Agreement Reached by OPEC in Geneva. Although this may be disputed in some oil company circles, the general consensus of opinion both inside and outside OPEC is that the two-month production agreement reached by OPE

  • Yamani’s Departure Leaves Big Question Mark Over World Oil Scene

    Although Saudi official sources have been at pains to stress that the departure of Shaikh Ahmad Zaki Yamani from the Oil Ministry will not entail any change in the Kingdom's oil policy, there is nevertheless mounting evidence of a distinct shift of focus as regards Saudi oil obje

  • Soviet Union
    Double Proposed Purchases From Iran

    The Soviet Union has agreed to double its proposed purchases of Iranian natural gas and to cooperate with the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) in oil exploration and development ventures in open areas in Iran. A protocol to this effect was signed in Teheran by Iranian and

  • Buyers Show Reluctance To Enter Into Term Volume Commitments At Fixed Prices

    Buoyed by a firm market trend for both crude oil and products with the Brent crude price remaining above $18/B throughout the past week more OPEC countries have come out with notifications of fixed official prices for their crude oil exports with effect from 1 February. So far ni

  • OPEC Suppliers
    Face Tough Decisions On Prices

    It has been another bad week on the crude oil market. Brent ended up at around $16.40/B, some 80 cents down on the previous week's close and around $2.60/B below the support level for the OPEC fixed price structure. At the same time, the Rotterdam netback for Arabian Light crude

  • Signs of Change
    In US Attitude Towards OPEC

    Remarks last week by the US Energy Secretary, Mr. John Herrington, would appear to indicate that the US has replaced its vociferous opposition to OPEC's market stabilization campaign with at least tacit recognition that stable prices are in everyone's interest, and that the US ma

  • Saudi Government Insists On Application Of OPEC Accord Till End Of 1987

    Saudi Arabia considers that adherence by all the OPEC countries to the quotas and prices in the December 1986 Geneva agreement is "an extremely vital matter" for continued market stability and balancing supply and demand "until the end of 1987." A statement to this effect by the

  • Reagan Administration Determined To Maintain Military Escort Capability In Gulf

    Although a good deal of confusion still surrounds the eventual configuration of US policy in Gulf, it nevertheless seems clear atMEES press time (on Friday 29 May) that, despite strong anxiety among congressional leaders, the Reagan administration is still determined to maintain

  • OPEC:
    Appearance And Reality

    MEES Editor Ian Seymour Reports on the Outcome and Implications of OPEC's 25-27 June Vienna Conference. All things considered, the general verdict on the swiftly accomplished OPEC agreement in Vienna seems to be that, despite its manifest imperfections, it will help to preserv

  • Norway Reconfirms Support
    For OPEC

    The Norwegian Government announced on 10 July its decision to extend the existing 7.5% cut in the country's North Sea oil production until the end of the year in support of OPEC's market and price stabilization efforts. The decision, taken at a cabinet meeting on 9 July following

  • The Oil Market:
    To Turn Or Not To Turn?

    Even for those who were expecting a firm market in the wake of the OPEC production decision at the end of June, the recent jump in spot oil prices has come as something of a surprise. The price bonanza is riding high on the waves of international fallout from the prevailing tensi

  • Saudi Arabia Complains
    About OPEC Overproduction

    MEES understands that Saudi Arabia has sent an official telex to OPEC complaining about reported overquota production by some OPEC member countries. The telex, sent by the Saudi Oil Minister, Mr. Hisham Nazer, on 29 July, was addressed to the current President of the OPEC confere

  • Nazer Rules Out
    Swing Producer Role For Saudi Arabia

    Ian Seymour and Walid Khadduri Report on the Outcome of the OPEC Committee Meetings in Vienna on 10-11 September Saudi Oil Minister Hisham Nazer has firmly and definitively ruled out any prospect that Saudi Arabia might be ready to resume the role of swing producer under any c

  • MEES Interview With
    Saudi Oil Minister Mr. Hisham Nazer

    The following is the full text of the MEES interview in Vienna on 11 September with Mr. Hisham Nazer, Saudi Arabia's Oil Minister, comprising a statement by Mr. Nazer followed by questions and answers. As you read in the communique the Committee of Three will be going to all t

  • US Legislature
    Proposes Ban on Imparts from Iran

    In reaction to figures revealing that the US imported some 630,000 b/d of Iranian crude in July, both houses of Congress have put forward proposals to ban all imports from Iran, including crude. The Senate unanimously approved an embargo on imports from Iran as an amendment to th

  • Value of OPEC Oil Exports
    Down 42% in 1986

    Figures in the newly published 1986 OPEC Annual Statistical Bulletin show that as a group the OPEC countries suffered a 41.6% drop in the value of their oil exports in 1986 - to $77.1bn as compared to $132bn in 1985 - despite an increase in both production and exports. As the Dep

  • Saudi Arabia And Kuwait
    Reject Oil Price Increase For 1988

    King Fahd ibn 'Abd al-'Aziz of Saudi Arabia has reiterated the view - first expressed earlier this year (MEES, 25 May) - that oil prices should remain unchanged until the end of 1988 at the earliest, and has indicated that his country will only consider such a move if there is fi

  • Gloomy Prognosis
    For OPEC’s Vienna Conference

    Even with the best will in the world, it would be difficult to categorize the prospects for the forthcoming 9 December OPEC conference in Vienna as anything but gloomy. Although there is a truly desperate need among the OPEC exporters for a credible new agreement on prices and pr

  • OPEC’s Prospective Roll-Over Quota Accord For 1988 Will Continue To Exempt Iraq

    MEES Editor Ian Seymour Reports from Vienna, 11 December Towards the end of the third day of an exceptionally difficult conference in Vienna, the OPEC Oil Ministers appear to be edging towards what amounts to a roll-over solution on prices and production quotas. However, this

  • Collapsing Market Puts OPEC’s Official Price Structure In Jeopardy

    MEES Editor Ian Seymour Reports on the Oil Scene in the Aftermath of OPEC's Vienna Conference After a week when crude oil prices plunged by some $2 to $3/B in the wake of a less than credible OPEC agreement in Geneva, it is legitimate to ask once again whether OPEC's structure

  • Market Focus
    Shifts To Africa/Mediterranean

    After a period when market interest was generally centered on the price intentions of Gulf suppliers, the focus now seems to have shifted somewhat towards the African exporters. In particular, buyers are watching the situation in Libya where oil sales have been severely curtailed

  • Path To Opec/Non-Opec Cooperation
    Will Not Be Easy

    MEES Editor Ian Seymour Reports on the Vienna Meeting of OPEC's Price Monitoring Committee In the midst of the euphoria generated by the $1.30/B price rise in the wake of the 9 April decision of OPEC's price committee to convene a meeting with non-OPEC producers to be followed

  • Six Non-Opec Producers Offer 5% Export Cutback Conditional Upon OPEC Response

    MEES Editor Ian Seymour Reports from Vienna, 29 April Six non-OPEC oil exporting countries - Mexico, Egypt, China, Oman, Angola and Malaysia - have now tabled a formal offer to cut exports by 5% provided that the OPEC producers commit themselves to a "similar proportional resp

  • After Vienna Deadlock OPEC Faces Crucial Decisions On Major Issues

    MEES Editor Ian Seymour Reports on the Outcome and Aftermath of OPEC'S Consultative Conference in Vienna (28 April-2 May) Despite their failure in Vienna last week to agree on production cuts to match an earlier conditional offer by a group of six non-OPEC producers (MEES, 2 M

  • Arab Oil Revenues Decrease
    60% in Five Years

    Arab oil revenues in 1987 were 60% lower than in 1983, according to the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC) 14th Annual Report, which has just been released. The two countries worst affected by the decline are Saudi Arabia, whose oil revenue decreased from

  • Quota Discipline Likely To Be OPEC’s Problem In Second-Half 1988

    MEES Editor Ian Seymour Reports on the Outcome of the OPEC Conference in Vienna, 11-14 June OPEC's decision at its Vienna conference last week to roll over its production quotas and ceiling unchanged for the next six months was an outcome both expected and widely predicted in

  • No Concessions Forthcoming
    From UAE On Production Issue

    Even at this advanced date, it is still very far from clear what, if anything, of a concrete nature can be accomplished at the forthcoming meeting of OPEC's five-member price monitoring committee which is scheduled to convene, in what is expected to be a brief one-day session, on

  • OPEC Secretary General Mandated To Negotiate Solution To Iraq Quota Problem

    MEES Editor Ian Seymour Reports on OPEC's Price Committee Meeting in Lausanne Switzerland (3 August) In a brief but businesslike one-day meeting amid luxurious and tranquil surroundings at Lausanne's lakeside Beau Rivage Hotel, the five Ministers of OPEC's price monitoring com

  • Iraq Will Seek
    To Maximize Revenues

    Iraq's main concern in deciding its future production policy will be to maximize revenues for post-war reconstruction and debt repayment, and accordingly "we will certainly not determine the level of our production regardless of the level of prices in the market," according to Oi

  • No Sign of Let Up in OPEC Production Drive

    As the five members of the OPEC price committee - the Oil Ministers of Nigeria, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Algeria - prepare to meet in Madrid on 25 September, there is as yet no sign of any let-up in the current spate of over-quota production by OPEC exporters. In fa

  • OPEC: A Glimmer Of Hope Amid The Gloom?

    MEES Editor Ian Seymour Reports on OPEC's Price Committee Meeting in Madrid, 25-26 September 1988 Despite the evident fact that the fundamental problems facing OPEC remain as formidable and menacing as ever, the Madrid meeting of the Organization's Five-Minister Price Committe

  • Saudi Production Upswing Likely To Concentrate OPEC Minds

    Saudi Arabia's forceful warning to OPEC (and non-OPEC) oil producers that it is not prepared to freeze its own output at quota level while others overproduce (for text see page A3) is clearly designed to concentrate OPEC minds in advance of the meeting - or perhaps series of meet

  • Saudi Arabia Warns It Will Not Freeze Production While Others Boost Output

    Saudi Arabia has issued a strongly-worded statement to the effect that it is not prepared to freeze its production at quota level at a time when other OPEC countries are raising their output and laying themselves open to the "damaging effects of the market collapse resulting from

  • Iraq Ready To
    Participate In OPEC Production

    One new development that should help OPEC in its herculean task of putting together a new production regulation agreement is the fact that Iraq, which has stayed outside the quota system for some years past, is now ready to participate in such an agreement. Previously, Iraq's

  • Cautious Optimism On Prospects For New OPEC Agreement On Production

    MEES Editor Ian Seymour Reports from Madrid, 21 October It now seems clear beyond reasonable doubt - as the joint meeting of the price and strategy committees grouping eight OPEC Ministers gets under way in Madrid - that if there is to be a deal on production of sufficient cre

  • Iran’s Rejection Of Quota Parity With Iraq Presents Obstacle To OPEC Agreement

    MEES Editor Ian Seymour Reports On the Outcome of of OPEC's Madrid Committee Meeting and its Aftermath Much of the earlier optimism with regard to an early OPEC agreement on a production ceiling and member country quotas for 1989 has now been dispelled by Iran's seemingly adamant

  • OPEC: Focus On Iran

    MEES Editor Ian Seymour Reports from Vienna, 18 November* Once again OPEC is facing a terrible cliff-hanger in its efforts to put together a new production control agreement designed to stave off the imminent danger of another oil price collapse. Here in Vienna the focus - vir

  • OPEC: Home At Last

    MEES Editor Ian Seymour Reports on the Outcome of OPEC's Vienna Conference, 21-28 November After a 12-day marathon in Vienna (including the committee sessions before the Conference), OPEC finally made it home to port on 28 November with a new agreement on production, complete

  • Saudi Arabia Boosts Oil Reserve Estimates By 85Bn Barrels To Reach 252Bn Barrels

    Saudi Arabia's Aramco has announced a staggering increase of 85bn barrels in the Kingdom's remaining recoverable oil reserves at year-end 1988 as compared with the previous year. According to the announcement, remaining reserves are now assessed at 252.384bn barrels of oil and 17

  • OPEC/Non-OPEC Hold Useful Exchange Of Views In London

    The negative response of the oil markets to the admittedly bland communique (for text see below) issued by the technical experts of OPEC and non-OPEC producing countries after their London meeting on 26 January was distinctly inappropriate, considering that the session in questio

  • Non-OPEC Exporters Expected To Announce 2Q Output Cuts In Coming Week

    Following the meeting of technical experts in London on 21 February, a number of non-OPEC "independent" oil exporting countries are confidently expected to announce cutbacks in second-quarter exports during the coming week - that is to say on or before 3 March MEES understands th

  • Reconstruction On The Move In Iraq

    (Ian Seymour and Walid Khadduri of MEES recently visited South Iraq where post-war reconstruction is in full swing. In the following article, they report on the remarkable rehabilitation of oil and industrial capacity in the area.) Just about every available resource of manpow

  • Norway Plans for 34% Increase in Oil Production for 1989

    In an upward revision of its 1989 oil production projections, Norway is now planning on an output of 72.5mn tons or 1.47mn b/d this year, an increase of around 34% over the 1988 figure of 1.1mn b/d. These figures were released in the Labor Government's revised national budget pre

  • Bush Maintains Economic Sanctions Against Libya

    US President George Bush has decided to maintain the three-year old economic sanctions and trade embargo against Libya. Mr. Bush said in a message to Congress on 19 July: "The policies and actions of the Government of Libya continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to

  • After Near Miss In Geneva: OPEC To Purse Quota Redistribution Agreement

    MEES Editor Ian Seymour Reports on OPEC's MMC Meeting in Geneva, 23-27 September The somewhat disappointing outcome of the Geneva meeting of OPEC's eight-member Market Monitoring Committee (MMC)* - a 1mn b/d increase in the crude production ceiling to 20.5mn b/d on a pro-rata

  • Iraq’s Oil Reserves Exceed 100 Billion Barrels Says Chalabi

    Mr. Issam al-Chalabi, the Iraqi Oil Minister, has said that Iraq's proven oil reserves exceed the previously declared figure of 100bn barrels and that exploration and surveys are currently under way to define the extra proven reserves. Mr. Chalabi told the Baghdad Observer on 23

  • OPEC Quotas Should Be Scrapped As Soon As Possible, Says Kuwait’s ‘Ali Khalifah

    OPEC's current system of allocating fixed crude oil production quotas to member countries should be scrapped "as soon as possible," according to Kuwait's Minister of Oil, Shaikh 'Ali Khalifah al-Sabah. Speaking in an interview in Kuwait with MEESEditor Ian Seymour, Shaikh 'Ali st

  • US Imports Pass 50% Mark in January

    Statistics released by the American Petroleum Institute (API) show that US imports of crude and products accounted for a record 54% of domestic consumption in January, totaling 9.13mn b/d as against 7.975mn b/d in January 1989. The API notes that January imports were about 1mn b/

  • Iraqi Oil Minister Opposes Aboliton of OPEC Quota System

    Iraq's Oil Minister, Mr. Isam al-Chalabi, has expressed opposition to recent calls within OPEC for the abolition of the production quota system, and repeated Iraq's support for a gradual increase in OPEC reference prices to compensate for inflations and fluctuations in dollar exc

  • OPEC’s Geneva Deal On Output Cutbacks Has Positive Features But Faces Stern Market Test

    MEES Editor Ian Seymour Reports from Geneva on OPEC's 2-3 May Meeting Despite an initial negative reaction from the market, the OPEC ministerial meeting here in Geneva has succeeded in putting together a three-month (May-July) production cutback deal which has quite a few posi

  • OPEC Keeps Cool In Face Of Market Downturn

    So far at least OPEC is keeping a cool head in the face of the sharp downturn which struck the crude oil market in the middle of last week. A general wait-and-see attitude seems likely on the OPEC front for the next few weeks to give the 2 May Geneva agreement another chance to p

  • OPEC President Calls Upon Non-OPEC Exporters to Restrain Output

    MEES learns that the President of the OPEC Conference, Algerian Oil Minister Sadek Boussena, has circulated a letter to the Oil Ministers of the non-OPEC group of Independent Petroleum Exporting Countries (IPEC) asking them to cooperate with OPEC's current market stabilization ef

  • Iraq Steps Up Pressure Campaign To Cut OPEC Output And Strengthen Prices

    Iraq has now taken the lead in inter-OPEC diplomacy with a hard-hitting public and private campaign, evidently designed to pressure the UAE and Kuwait into cutting production to quota levels in order to help strengthen sagging crude oil prices which are now languishing $4-5/B bel

  • OPEC’s Volume Squeeze Should Push Prices Substantially Higher In Second Half

    MEES Editor Ian Seymour Reports on the Outcome of OPEC's Geneva Conference, 26-27 July Without doubt, the agreement reached by the OPEC conference in Geneva today represents the Organization's boldest and probably most credible attempt to date to push up crude oil prices throu

  • OPEC’s Vienna Agreement Should Go Far To Defuse Oil Supply Crisis

    MEES Editor Ian Seymour Reports on OPEC's 29 August Agreement in Vienna Somewhat against prior expectations, OPEC's ad hoc meeting in Vienna last week succeeded in putting together a deal which stands a good chance of defusing the oil supply crisis in its present form - that i

  • OPEC Reaffirms Quota-Free Production Until Gulf Crisis Is Resolved But Pledges Quotas Thereafter

    MEES Editor Ian Seymour Reports from Vienna on the Outcome of the OPEC Conference, 12-13 December Faced with the uncertainties and dilemmas of the Gulf crisis in the months to come, the 13 OPEC Oil Ministers meeting for their end-year conference in Vienna chose the most sensib

  • Iraq’s Crude Oil Export Capacity Seriously Damaged

    MEES learns from reliable sources that Iraq's crude oil export capacity has been curtailed by more than two-thirds as a result of the damage inflicted since mid-January, and that extensive damage has been incurred by the southern export installations. It is understood that the PS

  • Iraq’s Crude Oil Export Capacity Seriously Damaged

    MEES learns from reliable sources that Iraq's crude oil export capacity has been curtailed by more than two-thirds as a result of the damage inflicted since mid-January, and that extensive damage has been incurred by the southern export installations. It is understood that the PS

  • What Chances For Oil Exports From Iraq?

    The new, comprehensive resolution adopted by the UN Security Council on 3 April which spells out terms for the ending of the Gulf war (for full text and political analysis, see pp. D1-5 and C1-3) raises a good many question marks regarding the draconian procedures which Iraq must

  • OPEC Experts Endorse Need For Producer-Consumer Dialogue

    Meeting in Vienna on 13-14 May under the chairmanship of OPEC Deputy Secretary General Ramzi Salman, a group of OPEC experts have agreed that there is a need for a dialogue between oil producing and consuming countries as a means of promoting market stability, MEES understands.

  • Tough Talk Among OPEC Ministers Underlies Vienna Decision To Rollover Output Ceiling

    MEES Editor Ian Seymour Reports on the Outcome of the OPEC Conference in Vienna, 4 June. The OPEC Conference in Vienna was so brief (all over in one day) and its outcome so expected (almost exactly as predicted in last week's MEES) that many observers seem to have concluded th

  • Iran’s Oil Capacity Expansion Plans

    MEES Editor Ian Seymour Takes a Detailed Look at Iran's Ambitious Output Capacity Expansion Plans In a major effort to put its oil industry on a firm footing for the 1990s, Iran is planning to spend some $5bn on expanding its oil production capacity to close on 5mn b/d by Marc

  • Security Council Refuses to Lift Sanctions against Iraq

    In its first formal review of the economic sanctions against Iraq, the UN Security Council affirmed on 11 June that there is no case yet for lifting any of the trade sanctions imposed on Iraq because Baghdad has not complied fully with the terms set by the international organizat

  • US Dissent Casts Shadow Over Paris Dialogue Meeting

    The producer-consumer ministerial seminar in Paris on 1 and 2 July looks like getting off to a bad start, with Washington's failure to participate signalling its continued opposition to a global energy dialogue. The meeting, which is sponsored by France and Venezuela, was origina

  • Producer-Consumer Dialogue Off To A Low-Key Start

    MEES Executive Editor Walid Khadduri Reports from Paris on the 1-2 July Producer-Consumer Dialogue: Fifteen years after the last abortive attempt at a producer-consumer dialogue on oil in 1975-76, a new move in a similar direction got off to a low-key start at an informal mini

  • UN Security Council Discusses Allowing Limited Iraqi Oil Sales

    The UN Security Council has begun discussing a plan which would allow Iraq to make limited oil sales in order to buy food and medical supplies, as an exemption to the sanctions regime which would still remain in force. However, due to the complexity of the issue, it is likely to

  • Resumption of Iraqi Oil Exports by 4Q Is Now Realistic Prospect

    A resumption of crude oil exports from Iraq at a rate of around 500,000 b/d must now be reckoned to be a realistic prospect following the agreement reached on 7 August between the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (USA, USSR, Britain, France and China) on the word

  • Saudi Arabia Favors Raising OPEC Output Ceiling To 24.5MN B/D For 4Q

    MEES understands that, at the OPEC ministerial meeting in Geneva on 24 September, Saudi Arabia will propose an increase in the OPEC crude oil production ceiling to 24.5mn b/d for the fourth quarter. The present output ceiling, nominally in force for the second and third quarters,

  • Proposed EC Carbon Tax Could Reduce Oil Demand by 4mn b/d by 2000, According to CGES

    The recent proposal by the European Commission to levy a $10/B "carbon tax" on oil - among other fossil fuels - as part of a drive to stabilize the Community's carbon dioxide emissions could have serious implications for the oil industry. Were such a scheme to be implemented thro

  • OPEC Continues Quota-Free Output For 1Q 1992; Delays Decision on 2Q Till February

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  • `Wait And See’ Appears To Be OPEC Response To Market Downturn

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  • US Steps Up Sanctions Against Libya

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  • Iraq Calls Off Oil Negotiations With UN

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  • OPEC Maintains Status Quo On Production

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  • Saudi Government Backs GCC Rejection of Proposed EC Carbon Tax

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  • Iran Challenges UAE Authority over Abu Musa Island

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  • UAE Warns Abu Musa Incident Could Threaten Relations with Iran

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  • GCC Condemns Iranian Annexation Measures in Abu Musa Island

    At a meeting in Jiddah on 9 September, the Foreign Ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) unanimously condemned Iran's recent assertion of sovereignty over the island of Abu Musa in the Gulf as "a violation of the sovereignty of a GCC member state and the unity of its te

  • Arab League Backs UAE in Dispute over Abu Musa

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  • Despite Shortcomings OPEC’s Geneva Deal Should Have Positive Impact On 4Q Market

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  • UAE and Iran to Hold Direct Talks on Islands Dispute

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  • Saudi Arabia Will Not Agree To Cut Its Production At OPEC’s Vienna Conference

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  • OPEC Gets Back On Quota Track

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MEES Interview With Iranian Oil Minister Gholamreza Aghazadeh

Iranian Oil Minister Gholamreza Aghazadeh has expressed general satisfaction with the outcome of last month’s OPEC conference in Vienna, despite the fact that it did not meet all Iran’s requirements with regard to oil price levels. Significantly, in view of the tension between Iran and Saudi Arabia in previous OPEC ministerial meetings, Mr. Aghazadeh made a point of praising the spirit of “very good-cooperation” shown by Saudi Arabia at the 21-22 May conference.

In an interview in Tehran with MEES Editor Ian Seymour, the Iranian Oil Minister spelled out his dissatisfaction with OPEC’s performance and strategy on the price issue, but went on to comment: “To the extent that the May agreement was better than the decisions of the previous meetings, I am satisfied with it. And I am also satisfied with the very good cooperation demonstrated by Saudi Arabia.” (more…)

  • Implementation Question Mark Hangs Over OPEC’s New Production Accord

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  • Iraq Rejects Latest OPEC Accord

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  • Kuwaiti Parliamentarians Unhappy with OPEC Accord

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  • Expanding Capacity: A Dilemma For OPEC

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  • Meeting Defuses Inter-OPEC Tension Over March Production But Underlying Problems Remain

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  • Saudi Foreign Minister Criticizes European Energy Tax

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  • The Politics Of Iraqi Oil Exports

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  • OPEC Shifts Focus To Price Rather Than Volume At Geneva Meeting

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  • Crisis In OPEC

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  • The Need For OPEC: A Perspective

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  • OPEC Members Should Exercise Caution Before Contemplating Participation In Futures Markets

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  • Op-Ed:
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  • Saudi Oil Price Policy In Perspective

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  • OPEC Puts Its House In Order With Agreement On One-Year Quota Rollover

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  • MEES Interview With Saudi Oil Minister Hisham Nazer

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  • OPEC Publishes Members’ Own Production/Supply Figures For First Time

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  • Gabon Leaves OPEC: Membership Reduced to 11

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  • OPEC Crude Production Reached Almost 25mn B/D In December

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  • Further Non-OPEC Output Gains Predicted For 1995 In Latest IEA Forecast

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  • Hammadi Says Arab Oil Exporters Lost $996Bn In 1987-92 From Oil Price Erosion

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  • New Oil: How Much, When And At What Price?

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  • Iran To Propose Non-Dollar Pricing For Oil At Next OPEC Meeting

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  • Indonesia Plays Down Non-Dollar Oil Pricing Proposal

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  • OPEC’s June Conference Passes Off Peacefully But Trouble Looms In November

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  • Lukman: We Have no Wish To Be Confrontational

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  • Op-Ed: The Strategic Significance Of Iran’s Oil And Gas Output In The Twenty-First Century

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  • OPEC Will Face Crucial Dilemma In November

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  • Op-Ed:
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  • Upstream Opportunities For International Oil Companies In  The Middle East 

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  • Can OPEC Handle A Resumption Of Iraqi Oil Exports? 

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  • Yamani Warns
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  • Iraq And The UN Inch Towards An Agreement On Resolution 986 

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  • How Will OPEC React To The Resumption Of Iraqi Oil Exports? 

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  • OPEC’s Stopgap Agreement In Vienna Leaves Underlying Problems Unresolved 

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  • Iran Deplores US Oil Sanctions Law 

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  • Interview with Iranian Oil Minister Gholamreza Aghazadeh

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  • President Clinton To Sign Iran-Libya Sanctions Act; Europe Threatens Retaliation 

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  • Iraq Initials First Production-Sharing Agreement 

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  • Op-Ed: Ali Naimi: Saudi Arabia and Asia: From Interdependence To Future Partnership  

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  • OPEC Rolls Over Production Ceiling As Expected; But Imminent Iraqi Supply Clouds Market Outlook

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  • Saudi Budget Sees Big Increases In Expenditure And Revenue

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  • Iraqi Export Flow Boosts OPEC Output In December

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  • France’s Total Emerges As Contender For South Pars Gas Field

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  • Iran’s Diplomatic Row With EU Gets Complicated

    European Foreign Ministers met in Luxembourg on 29 April to discuss what common action the European Union should adopt towards Iran in light of the ruling by a Berlin court on 10 April that implicated Iranian leaders in the assassination of four Iranian Kurdish dissidents in 1992

  • US-EU Summit Could Impact Iran’s South Pars Gas Project

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  • US Senators Urge Administration To Punish France’s Total If South Pars Venture Goes Ahead

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  • OPEC Rolls Over Quotas As Expected But Also Aims for Reductions In Actual Production

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  • OPEC: The Saudi View

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  • Zanganeh Nominated New Oil Minister In Iran

    Mr. Bijan Namdar Zanganeh, Energy Minister in the outgoing government of former Iranian President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, has been nominated to the key post of Oil Minister in the 22-man cabinet proposed by the newly installed President Mohammad Khatami. He replaces the lon

  • Iranian Crude Exports Steady In July

    According to data from MEES sources, Iran's crude oil exports averaged 2.436mn b/d in July, registering a modest increase of 18,000 b/d over the June figure of 2.418mn b/d. Allowing for estimated deliveries to domestic refineries of 1.2mn b/d in July, Iran's crude oil production

  • Total’s South Pars Deal Breaks New Ground

    MEES Associate editor Anne-Marie Johnson describes and assesses the ground-breaking deal for the development of the South Pars gas field between Iran's NIOC and France's Total. Ending months of speculation, Total and the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) have finally signed

  • Saudi Oil Policy In A Globalized And Dynamic Market

    by Ali al-Naimi The following is the text of an address delivered by the Saudi Arabian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Mr. Ali al-Naimi, at the 15th World Petroleum Congress in Beijing, China, on 15 October. Honored guests, fellow delegates, ladies and gentleme

  • Saudi Oil Minister Calls For Increase In OPEC’s Production Ceiling To A More Realistic Level

    Saudi Arabia will be in favor of a decision to raise OPEC's crude oil production ceiling to a more realistic level when the Organization's Oil Ministers meet in Jakarta for their year-end conference on 26 November, according to Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi. Speaking in an excl

  • Saudi Arabia Shows Steady Hand On Crude Pricing Front Ahead Of OPEC Meeting

    Sour crude prices continued their upward ascent relative to sweet markers in Europe last month, propelled higher by a combination of supply-driven events and underlying product strength at the bottom of the refined barrel. A sudden decision on the part of Iraq's marketing organiz

  • OPEC Charts New Direction With Jakarta Production Agreement

    MEES Editor Ian Seymour Reports on the OPEC Ministerial Conference Held in Jakarta, Indonesia on 26 November-1 December 1997. As expected, OPEC's Jakarta conference came up with a substantial boost to the Organization's moribund crude oil production ceiling. Though its full re

  • OPEC Makes Case For ‘Balanced Agreement’ From Kyoto Climate Change Conference

    OPEC has issued a statement expressing its concern over the outcome of discussions at the Kyoto Climate Change Conference, which began on 1 December. Recognizing the fact that "certain steps may need to be taken to avert the possible consequences of anthropogenic or man-made clim

  • Iran Prepares To Tender Wide Range Of Upstream Oil/Gas Projects, Both Onshore And Offshore

    It is no secret that the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) is in the process of preparing a list of upstream projects which will be included in a second buy-back tender scheduled for release early next year. Iranian oil officials have hardly been reticent on the topic recently

MEES Interview With Iran Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh

The following interview with Iran Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh was given to MEES at the OPEC conference held in Jakarta on 26 November – 1 December 1997.

Q: Can we discuss the OPEC meeting?

A: No. Please discuss this issue with the Secretary General.

Q: Can you explain to us Iran’s plans regarding the opening up of its onshore oil industry to possible involvement with foreign firms?

A: Our plan is based on what was implemented with respect to the buy-back projects, for instance the South Pars gasfield. We are going to act in the same way with respect to the onshore areas, whether the fields are new or whether work is related to enhanced oil recovery (EOR) schemes in the current producing fields and marginal fields.

Q: How many onshore and offshore fields will be offered for foreign investment? (more…)

  • Oil Prices Slide Spells Financial Pain For OPEC Producers

    Reluctantly but inevitably, OPEC oil producers - as well as a good many non-OPEC exporters, no doubt - will have to come to grips with the unpleasant prospect that the current oil price slide could, in the absence of prompt action to restrain supply, turn into something a good de

  • Asian Crisis Cuts Demand Projections By 400,000-700,000 B/D In 1998-1999, Says PIRA

    Asia's financial crisis has cut 0.8% off expected world GDP growth in 1998 leading to a reduction in oil demand in the areas of the world principally affected (Asia Pacific and Latin America) by around 400,000 b/d in 1998 and probably as much as 700,000 b/d in 1999 compared to pr

  • US Military Threat Puts Iraqi Oil At Center Stage Of World Oil Scene

    The latest exchanges of fiery threats between Washington and Baghdad, and the intensive diplomatic contacts taking place worldwide to avert a military showdown, have once again placed Iraqi oil firmly at center stage of the world oil scene, having already led to a reversal of the

  • Saudi Arabia Wants Action On Production Restraint By Venezuela And Nigeria

    Saudi Arabia sees no need for a meeting of OPEC and non-OPEC oil producers as suggested by Venezuela and believes quota compliance by both Venezuela and Nigeria should be the first priority, according to a Gulf source who is close to official Saudi thinking. Questioned by Reuters

  • OPEC Still Mulls Saudi Proposal Despite Venezuela’s Negative Reaction

    Tentative moves among some leading OPEC players to lay the groundwork for a production cutback, badly needed to remedy the prevailing oversupply and price crunch in the world oil market, seemingly hit a wall last week after Venezuela brusquely rebuffed an exploratory Saudi initia

  • Aramco Moves To Delay Capital Spending Plans In Wake Of Crude Price Drop

    Saudi Aramco ushered in four consecutive months of price cuts last week, knocking up to 35 cents/B off its April term crude prices. The reductions put added strain on an export slate already under considerable pressure from the sharp decline in benchmark oil prices world-wide. Th

  • Saudi Oil Minister Spells Out The Kingdom’s Views On Current Oil Market Situation

    The following is the English-language text of an interview with the Saudi Arabian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Mr. Ali al-Naimi, which was published by the official Saudi Press Agency on 8 March. Q: There are different opinions about the recent oil price drop -

  • Signs Of Movement On OPEC/Non-OPEC Front

    After weeks of frustrating deadlock, significant signs of movement have at last begun to emerge on the oil production cutback front both among OPEC and non-OPEC exporters. The key players in the current round of consultations would appear to be Saudi Arabia and Venezuela on the O

  • Riyadh Cutback Accord Marks Major Step Forward Towards Market Restabilization

    When one considers the depth of doom and gloom that until very recently reigned in oil circles regarding the possibility of getting key OPEC players - Saudi Arabia and Venezuela in particular - even to talk to one another about production restraint in face of the worst potential

  • OPEC’s Vienna Conference Solidifies Production Cutback Accord But Market Remains Wary

    MEES Editor Ian Seymour Reports on Outcome of OPEC's 30 March Vienna Conference. OPEC oil producers, as well as some non-OPEC exporters for that matter, emerged from the past week with more credibility on the output cutback front than probably had been expected by most observe

  • Naimi Lauds Credibility Of New OPEC/Non-OPEC Production Agreement

    The new OPEC/non-OPEC production agreement, which was ratified by the OPEC Oil Ministers at an extraordinary conference in Vienna on 30 March, is underpinned by a high degree of implementational credibility together with a back-up willingness of the participants to cut more volum

  • Op-Ed: OPEC In Crisis:
    The Asian Dimension

    by Ahmad Zaki Yamani The following is the text of the inaugural address delivered by Shaikh Ahmad Zaki Yamani, Chairman of the Centre for Global Energy Studies (CGES) and former Saudi Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources at the 8th CGES Annual Conference in London on 27

  • US Waives ILSA Sanctions On European Companies – But What About US Firms?

    Faced with the prospect of a damaging political and economic confrontation with its European allies, the US Administration has taken a wise decision to back off in respect of the imposition of sanctions on non-US companies investing in oil and gas projects in Iran. An accord unde

  • Plus Points In New OPEC Production Cutback Accord Should Outweigh Initial Market Scepticism

    MEES Editor Ian Seymour Reports on the OPEC Ministerial Conference Held in Vienna on 24 June. In this writer's long experience, it has been rare for an OPEC ministerial conference to have achieved such remarkably positive results in such a short time as at the 24 June meeting

  • The Implications Of Weak Oil Prices For Saudi Arabia’s Economic Growth Prospects

    The following is the text of a memo recently prepared and distributed to clients by the Washington-based Petroleum Finance Company Ltd. (PFC). The sharp drop in crude oil prices during the last several weeks raises important questions for Saudi Arabia's finances. PFC expects t

  • Op-Ed:
    How Much Longer For US Sanctions On Iran

    by Robert H. Pelletreau The following is the text of a speech delivered by Ambassador Robert Pelletreau at the Iranian Petroleum Summit in London on 14-15 September. Mr. Pelletreau was US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs from February 1994 to January 1997.

  • The Venice Meeting

    On 2-4 October, a group of high level executives from a wide range of oil companies met in Venice. The group included the heads of majors, independents, national oil companies and service companies from the US, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The meeting was organized by the

  • Saudi Crown Prince Deplores OPEC Non-Compliance

    Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince 'Abd Allah ibn 'Abd al-'Aziz Al Sa'ud has blamed non-compliance with pledged production cuts by some OPEC countries for damaging the stability of the oil market, and called for renewed efforts by the producers to reach an understanding on output level

  • No Prospect Of Production Decisions At Cape Town

    Whatever expectations may have previously been raised, it is now clear beyond reasonable doubt that no moves on further cuts in production to shore up the still-soggy oil market will emerge from the informal consultations among Oil Ministers of a sizeable number of producing coun

  • Saudi Crown Prince Again Stresses Need For Compliance With OPEC Output Cuts

    Crown Prince ' Abd Allah ibn ' Abd al-' Aziz of Saudi Arabia has once again stressed the need for oil producing countries to comply with their output cutback commitments under OPEC agreements. A fortnight ago (MEES, 2 November), Crown Prince ' Abd Allah blamed non-compliance w

  • OPEC’s Vienna Conference: A Damp Squib

    MEES Editor Ian Seymour Reports from Vienna on the Outcome of the OPEC Oil Ministers’ Conference, 25-26 November. In their advance prognostications, oil market analysts and the specialized media had expected precious little of value to emerge from OPEC’s end-November ministe

  • Results Of South Pars Exploration Well Suggest Large Extension In Iranian Waters

    Initial results from a recently-completed exploration and delineation well drilled on the eastern flank of the South Pars offshore gasfield indicate that the reservoir extends much further east than originally contemplated. MEES understands that the well – known as South Pars #5

  • Iran And Russia Boost Nuclear Energy Cooperation: Bushehr Plant Back On Track

    Iran and Russia signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on 24 November covering the two countries’ future cooperation in nuclear energy and the completion of the Bushehr nuclear power facility, work on which has been stalled for months. The head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organ

  • Iran’s First Buy-Back Project Comes Of Age As Total Prepares To Begin Production At Sirri E Field

    MEES Associate Editor Anne-Marie Johnson, who recently visited Iran, reports on the flagship Sirri oilfield development project and the bidding for new buy-back ventures. With test production at the Sirri E offshore oilfield due to begin next week, Total is on track to inaugur

  • Saudi Arabia: Oil Policy Options

    There follows the text of a special report published in December 1998 by the Washington-based Petroleum Finance Company (Petro Finance) under the title "Saudi Arabia: Oil Policy Options – Time to Choose: Market Share or Price Defense?" Executive Summary The collapse of th

  • Oil Industry In Key Asian Markets

    The following is the text of a paper on the current state of play in the oil industry in key Asian countries, in the light of the East Asian economic crisis and lower oil prices in the world market. The paper was published as Energy Advisory No. 222 in December 1998 by the Progra

  • OPEC Basket Average Rises By $1.05/B To $10.74/B For January

    The spot price for the OPEC basket of seven crudes rose by $1.05/B in January to average $10.74/B for the month, compared to the revised average of $9.69/B for December. The January average is $1.54/B below the 1998 average of $12.28/B. The weekly basket averages for January were

  • Documentation On US Energy Secretary’s Visit To Saudi Arabia

    The following documentary round-up of significant statements and press briefings during US Energy Secretary Bill Richardson’s visit to Saudi Arabia on 5-7 February comprises the following: joint statement by Mr. Richardson and Saudi Oil Minister Ali Naimi issued in Riyadh on 6

  • Iranian Cutback Issue Remains Key To Resolution Of OPEC’s Dilemma

    Despite the usual plethora of statements, consultations, visits and impending visits on the OPEC front, the Organization’s key players do not seem to have made much concrete progress over the past week or two in resolving the main problems which will confront their Oil Minister

  • Oil Producers On Track For Major New Output Cut

    No one assumed that putting together another production cut agreement among OPEC and non-OPEC oil producers would be an easy task. The challenges are formidable and the track record is not very encouraging. However, a new initiative that has the support of major Gulf oil producer

  • OPEC Delivers The Goods On New Output Cutback Deal

    MEES Editor Ian Seymour Reports on the Outcome of OPEC’s 23 March Ministerial Conference in Vienna. There was no slip between the cup and the lip in Vienna this week when the Oil Ministers of 10 OPEC member countries (excluding Iraq whose oil exports are regulated by the UN

  • OPEC Output Dropped By 1.46Mn B/D, Marking Good Compliance With Accord

    OPEC’s crude oil output dropped by an impressive 1.46mn b/d in April, marking a good start-up in terms of compliance for the Organization’s new production cutback accord which took effect on 1 April. According to MEES estimates, OPEC’s crude production averaged 26.31mn b/d

  • OPEC, Oil Prices And Management Of Excess Production Capacity

    by Ian Seymour The following article is based on a presentation by MEES Editor Ian Seymour at the Fourth Annual Asian Oil and Gas Conference held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on 31 May-1 June 1999. The presentation was made in the course of the Distinguished Journalism Panel on

  • OPEC Basket Average Rises By 43 Cents/B To $15.43/B For May

    The spot price for the OPEC basket of seven crudes increased by 43 cents/B in May to average $15.43/B, compared to the revised average of $15.00/B in April, according to figures released by the OPEC Secretariat. The May average is $3.15 cents/B above the 1998 basket average of $1

  • Iraq: State Of The Oil Industry

    The following is the UN Secretary General’s report detailing oil industry spare parts and equipment needed to increase Iraq’s ability to produce oil for export. The report, submitted to the Security Council on 2 July, was prepared by five Saybolt experts, under a contract wit

  • OPEC Continues To Maintain Credible Production Cutback Compliance

    OPEC member states have continued their credible production record since their March agreement, with the June output cutback commitments by 10 OPEC member countries (excluding Iraq) reaching a level of compliance of around 89% compared to 90% in May. According to MEES estimates,

  • Op-Ed: Saudi Oil Policy: Stability With Strength

    by Ali Naimi There follows the text of a presentation by Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Mr. Ali Naimi, at the Houston Forum in Houston, Texas, on 20 October. From time to time, we read and hear comments about Saudi Arabia’s oil policy that d

  • Higher Oil Prices Threaten Global Growth, EU Warns OPEC

    The Commission of the European Union (EU) took the unusual step on 10 February of issuing a warning to OPEC states about the effects of forcing up oil prices by maintaining curbs on output. A senior official at the Commission told MEES the EU wanted to put on the record its conce

  • Op-Ed: OPEC’s Hard Choices

    The following article was written for MEES by Robert Mabro, Director of the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies The oil-exporting countries took 15 months (January 1998-March 1999) to agree upon and implement production cuts of the magnitude required by a skeptical and intempe

  • OPEC Keeps Markets Guessing About Exact Production Level Beginning April

    While it now seems very likely that OPEC will reach a consensus on a production increase beginning 1 April, with a review of the decision next June in light of market developments, there is still no clear picture as to the exact level of the increase, and at least two member stat

  • OPEC Seeks Consensus On Oil Increase And Hopes To Achieve Soft Landing On Prices

    Intensive consultations between OPEC Heads of State and Oil Ministers – under the added impetus of unrelenting diplomatic pressure from Washington – have been proceeding apace and are set to continue right up to the starting gate of OPEC’s ministerial conference on 27 March

  • US House Passes Bill Targeting Oil Exporting Nations

    The US House of Representatives on March 22 voted by 383 to 37 for a bill – the Oil Price Reduction Act (OPRA) - which calls on the president to investigate whether oil-producing countries are fixing prices. The vote came against the background of public irritation in the US at

  • Something For Everyone In OPEC’s Vienna Agreement To Increase Production

    MEES Editor Emeritus Ian Seymour Reports on the Outcome of OPEC’s 27-29 March Ministerial Conference in Vienna. Looking at the prospects in advance, it seemed as though OPEC’s latest ministerial conference in Vienna might get irretrievably bogged down in a host of politica

  • Senate Urges Legal Action Against OPEC

    The following letter to President Clinton was circulated in the Senate on 30 March by Senators Arlen Specter (R-PA), Joseph Biden (D-DE), Mike DeWine (R-OH) and Herb Kohl (D-WI). The senators, in asking the president to consider litigation against OPEC and other oil-producing cou

  • Saudi Arabia Publicly Backs OPEC Price-Range Mechanism

    Saudi Arabia has said that it fully supports the price-range mechanism agreed on by OPEC oil ministers during their last meeting in Vienna at the end of March (MEES, 3 April). Under the scheme, member states, after notification by the OPEC president, can automatically adjust outp

  • Libya Puts Upstream Negotiations With IOCs On Fast Track, Says Badri

    The Chairman of Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC), 'Abd Allah al-Badri, has told MEES that Libya is speeding up upstream negotiations with international oil companies (IOCs) with the aim of signing several Exploration Production-Sharing Agreements (EPSAs) within the next 1

  • OPEC Assessing Market Situation

    The past week started and ended with big news for the oil market, with more developments expected ahead of the extraordinary OPEC ministerial meeting in Vienna on 21 June. Initially, there were the interviews of Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi with MEES and the Saudi Press Agency

  • OPEC Between A Rock And A Hard Place

    In normal circumstances, the present situation in the world oil market should be ideal for OPEC member states. Prices are high, demand is healthy and the major consuming countries are pressing for a production increase. So why does the organization find itself in a quandary? T

  • OPEC Production Increase Package Looks Reasonably Solid Despite Market Scepticism

    Ian Seymour and Walid Khadduri of MEES Report on the Outcome of OPEC’s 21 June Extraordinary Conference in Vienna. Despite the near-hysterical climate in the oil market and the related political pressures generated thereby, it should be recognized that OPEC has once again re

  • Saudi Aramco Makes Largest Cut In Almost 10 years To Contract Crude Prices For Europe

    Following the recent plunge in sour crude oil prices in the European market, Saudi Aramco announced on 5 July a set of contract prices for August which includes the largest cut for European grades in almost 10 years. MEES understands the Saudi Aramco’s reduction in the price of

  • OPEC Keeps Markets Guessing About Its Next Move

    OPEC member states are taking their time in consultations over whether they should go ahead or not with a third production increase this year. Meanwhile, the markets are awaiting anxiously for a clear decision and a sense of direction from the producing countries, and until the s

  • Saudi Arabia Acts To Meet Market Demand, OPEC Members Stick To Price Band Mechanism

    The debate within OPEC as to whether or not the organization should increase production for the third time this year took a significant turn last week when Saudi Arabia discreetly raised output to meet market demand while the other OPEC member states continued to stick to the pri

  • Iran Awards $3.8Bn South Pars Phases 4 And 5 Development Project To Eni And Petropars

    On 27 July Iran’s Ministry of Petroleum signed the long-awaited contract with Italy’s Eni and Iran’s Petropars for the development of South Pars gasfield Phases 4 and 5. Eni’s Agip Iran BV subsidiary will be operator and 60% interest holder in the project, with Petropars

  • US Senate Subcommittee Approves Bill To Sue OPEC; Senator Lugar Sends Naimi Questions

    The US Senate antitrust subcommittee on 27 July approved a bill enabling antitrust regulators to sue OPEC for fixing prices and setting production levels for crude oil. Senator Mike DeWine, R-Ohio, who chairs the subcommittee said: "Indisputably, the biggest contributor of high g

  • Clinton Highlights The Question Of OPEC’s Excess Capacity

    US President Bill Clinton warned last week that the current high level oil prices would depress demand and suggested that a price in the "low to mid 20s is a more sustainable level," while at the same time questioning "whether the OPEC nations can increase their production." The

  • Oil Prices Soar Despite OPEC’s Plan To Increase Production For Third Time This Year

    Despite OPEC’s well-publicized plans to increase production for the third time this year, crude oil prices have continued their seemingly inexorable climb to more than $35/B, exceeding the levels registered during the Gulf war a decade ago. Paradoxically, this price rise is tak

  • OPEC In The Eye Of The Storm

    Ian Seymour and Walid Khadduri of MEES Report on the Outcome of OPEC’s 10-11 September Ministerial Conference in Vienna. Only three times before in its 40-year history has OPEC been caught in the center of an international storm of such magnitude as the current oil price imb

  • OPEC’s Bid To Lower Crude Prices Thwarted By Unexpected Events

    OPEC’s promise of further production increases (see lead story) did not have the desired effect of sending crude oil prices on a downward track. Despite an extra 800,000 b/d of OPEC supplies beginning 1 October and the possibility that the US government will draw on its Strateg

  • OPEC’s Caracas Summit Seeks Stable And Fair Prices, Closer Dialogue With Consumers

    MEES Gulf Editor Gerald Butt reports from Caracas, Venezuela, on the Second OPEC Summit, held on 27-28 September. Heads of state and senior representatives of the 11 member states of OPEC ended their two-day summit in Caracas – only the second in the organization’s 40-year

  • OPEC Poised To Trigger Price Control Mechanism

    OPEC is ready to deploy its price control mechanism if the price of the OPEC basket of crudes does not fall below $28/B before 27 October, MEES learns. This date would be the 20th consecutive trading day on which prices have been above $28/B, a condition for OPEC to increase prod

  • Nervous Markets Keep Brent And WTI Prices Above $30/B Despite OPEC Production Hike

    The prices of the benchmark Brent and WTI crudes did react to OPEC’s decision to increase production by a further 500,000 b/d from 1 November – but not by much or for long. As expectations of an agreement firmed on 27 October, traders took roughly $1/B off both crudes; but as

  • OPEC Takes Time Out From Output Increments

    Ian Seymour and Walid Khadduri of MEES report on the outcome of the OPEC 12-13 November Extraordinary Ministerial Conference in Vienna. OPEC now appears to have taken time out – what Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi has called a “breather” – from any new oil supply incr

  • OPEC Avoidance Of Fresh Oil Supply Increment Is Prudent Step, Says Saudi Oil Minister

    The decision of the OPEC Oil Ministers at their extraordinary meeting in Vienna on 12-13 November not to put any fresh increment of crude oil supply onto the market at the present time (thereby, in effect, suspending for the time being the automatic operation of OPEC’s $22-28/B

  • Price Plunge Brings OPEC Basket Price Into Target Band

    Last week crude oil prices continued the slide begun on 30 November, despite the interruption of Iraqi crude exports and the threat of cold weather in the US raising heating oil prices. Acceptance that the market was actually over-supplied with crude oil, as OPEC and many analyst

  • OPEC Starts Tricky Process Of Production Cutbacks

    Once again, OPEC finds itself forced to embark on the tricky process of output cutbacks in order to achieve its price objectives. The first move in this direction will take place at OPEC’s 17 January extraordinary ministerial meeting in Vienna, which is expected to endorse a re

  • Iraq Takes On Wild-Card Status Vis-à-Vis OPEC’s Supply/Price Management Aspirations

    MEES Editor Emeritus Ian Seymour reports on the outcome of OPEC’s 17 January Extraordinary Ministerial Meeting in Vienna. As expected, OPEC’s extraordinary ministerial meeting in Vienna went ahead pretty much according to plan: a speedy decision to cut output quotas by 1.5

  • OPEC Producers Confirm Details Of Supply Cuts

    Following the OPEC decision to cut output quotas by a total 1.5mn b/d from 1 February (MEES, 22 January), state companies have been informing customers of their planned reductions in deliveries. Saudi Aramco announced its intention even before the OPEC extraordinary ministerial m

  • OPEC Takes Proactive Stance To Maintain OPEC Basket Crude At $25/B

    Growing speculation about a potential production cut at the next OPEC meeting on 16 March is evidence that OPEC is not only taking a proactive stance in maintaining the OPEC basket crude price at about $25/B, but also that the organization is playing speculative investors at thei

  • Bush Administration Renews Executive Order Against Iran

    US President George Bush on 13 March renewed an executive order barring US involvement in the development of Iranian petroleum resources which was due to expire on 15 March. Executive Order 12957 of 15 March 1995 was the first of the sanctions imposed by Washington on trade with

  • OPEC Embarks On Additional 1Mn B/D Quota Supply Cutback To Sustain Target Price In 2Q

    Ian Seymour and Walid Khadduri of MEES report on the outcome of OPEC’s 16-17 March Ministerial Conference in Vienna. Faced with the specter of an oversupplied market in combination with crumbling oil prices in the second quarter of this year, the OPEC Oil Ministers took a pr

  • OPEC Press Release

    The following is the press release issued after the OPEC Conference: The 114th Meeting of the Conference of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) convened in Vienna, Austria, on 16th and 17th March 2001, under the Chairmanship of its President, HE Dr Cha

  • OPEC On Alert To Head Off Potential Crude Price Decline

    Market forces have settled into an uneasy balance, with the upward pressure on crude prices from expected US gasoline market tightness in the summer being countered by downward pressure from forecast demand weakness and growing industry stocks. With some Gulf producers still not

  • Bush Administration Drops Kyoto Protocol, EU Expresses Worry

    Bush Administration Drops Kyoto Protocol, EU Expresses Worry The administration of US President George W Bush has said it will not support the Kyoto Protocol, the 1997 treaty that calls for industrialized countries to respond to global warming by reducing the volume of greenho

  • Iraqi Oil Exports Back To Normal

    Iraqi oil exports have returned to normal levels following a three-month decline caused by SOMO’s demand to be paid a surcharge independent of the UN and the initial reluctance of international oil companies (IOCs) to cooperate. Iraqi exports in March under the UN oil-for-food

  • OPEC Condemns US Antitrust Ruling As ‘Absurdity’

    OPEC’s Secretary-General Ali Rodriguez, in a statement issued on 5 April, criticized an antitrust ruling by a US federal court which found the organization guilty of conspiring to manipulate crude oil prices. The case was brought by gasoline station operator Prewitt Enterprises

  • NYMEX Votes To Trade Brent Crude But Ends Middle East Sour Crude Contract

    In a bid to take a share in the Brent crude futures market, currently dominated by London’s IPE, the NYMEX board of directors voted on 11 April to develop a 15-day Brent crude contract. The move marks the latest escalation of direct competition between the two exchanges, and fo

  • OPEC Firmness On Price Band Policy Triggers Crude Price Surge

    Crude oil market analysts have begun to speculate about whether or not OPEC will raise output at its extraordinary ministerial meeting on 5 June, but Saudi Arabia’s reaffirmation that the organization would adhere to its price band policy gave a boost to oil prices. On 25 April

  • Iraqi Oil Sales: What Next?

    There is no doubt that during the past four months Iraq has succeeded against all odds in putting together a maverick oil export program that involves the sale of crude oil to one or two middlemen before the crude finally ends up with an end user with a refinery to process it. Th

  • Court Freezes Injunction Against OPEC Pending An Appeal

    Appearing through legal counsel on 20 April before the US District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, OPEC was granted a motion to stay the Final Judgement and Order of Injunction issued against the organization on the grounds that it had violated anti-trust laws, also k

  • OPEC Calms Market As Crude Prices Respond To US Gasoline Fluctuations

    OPEC ministers’ statements indicate that the organization appears increasingly likely to roll over its current production agreement at the extraordinary ministerial meeting in Vienna on 5 June, with increases likely later in the summer when demand builds ahead of winter. The ti

  • Bush Energy Policy Focuses On Increased Domestic Production To Meet Rising Demand

    US President George W Bush introduced his administration’s national energy policy on 17 May, saying that if America fails to act, the country "could face a darker future, a future unfortunately being previewed in rising prices at the gas pump and rolling blackouts in California

  • OPEC Opts For One-Month Breathing Space Before Deciding On Lost Iraqi Oil Supply

    MEES Editor Emeritus Ian Seymour reports on the outcome of OPEC’s Extraordinary Ministerial Meeting in Vienna on 5 June. Faced as they were by the sudden stoppage of some 2.1mn b/d of Iraqi oil exports under the UN program only the day before their extraordinary meeting in V

  • OPEC 10 Opt For No Change On Production As Iraqi Oil Exports Are Poised To Resume

    MEES Editor Emeritus Ian Seymour reports on the outcome of OPEC’s Extraordinary Ministerial Meeting in Vienna on 3 July. It was, perhaps, comforting for the OPEC Oil Ministers, meeting for an extraordinary session in Vienna on 3 July, to be able to rest assured that there wa

  • OPEC Cuts Production To Stabilize Prices

    OPEC is to cut production for the third time this year in a demonstration of its determination to pursue a pro-active policy to stabilize prices at an OPEC Basket price of around $25/B. On 25 July, following extensive consultations by phone and fax, the OPEC oil ministers issued

  • US Congress Votes To Extend ILSA For Five Years

    The US Senate voted on 25 July to extend for five years the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act of 1996 (ILSA), which is due to expire on 5 August. The House of Representatives approved a slightly different bill on 26 July, which would also extend ILSA for five years. The votes overrode a c

  • OPEC Marks Time On Quotas Awaiting Uncertain Market Developments

    Ian Seymour and Walid Khadduri of MEES Report on Outcome of OPEC’s Vienna Conference, 26-27 September Faced, not for the first time, with a plethora of perilous uncertainties, confusing signals and pressures, the OPEC Oil Ministers have chosen at their 26-27 September meetin

  • Op-Ed: Opening Address To The OPEC Conference

    By Dr Chakib Khelil The following is the text of the opening address to the 117th Meeting of the OPEC Conference in Vienna, 26-27 September, by HE Dr Chakib Khelil, President of the Conference and Minister of Energy and Mines, Algeria. Welcome to the 117th Meeting of the OP

  • Naimi Punctures Myth Of OPEC’s Power To Dictate Oil Prices

    Despite all the changes of past years and lessons learned by producers and consumers from market developments, “there are some myths about OPEC and its role that still influence the thinking of many,” according to Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi, in an address to a seminar in

  • Op-Ed:
    US Sanctions After 11 September

    By Robert Copaken The following is the text of the speech by Robert Copaken at the conference on “Implications of Sanctions for the Oil, Gas and Mining Industry,” sponsored by the Global Business Network and held in London on 2 October. Mr Copaken is a Scholar-in-Residence

  • OPEC Embarks On Conditionality Strategy Vis-à-VisNon-OPEC In Relation To Output Cuts

    MEES Editor Emeritus Ian Seymour reports on the outcome of OPEC’s extraordinary ministerial meeting in Vienna on 14 November. Somewhat unexpectedly, the OPEC Oil Ministers marked their one-day meeting in Vienna on 14 November with a ground-breaking decision to embark upon a

  • OPEC Awaits Market Reaction To Production Cut And Price Band Suspension

    MEES Editor-in-Chief Walid Khadduri reports from Cairo on the outcome of OPEC’s Consultative Ministerial Meeting on 28 December 2001. OPEC ministers succeeded in the last few days of the year to cap six weeks of intensive negotiations with non-OPEC producers to implement a p

  • Iraqi Oil Industry In 2002: A Turning Point

    Iraq’s sustained oil production capacity is scheduled to increase to 3.1mn b/d in 2002, compared to 2.8mn b/d in 2000/2001, MEES learns from authoritative sources. The rise in capacity is attributable to the arrival over the past few months of equipment and spare parts through

  • OPEC 10 January Production Down 3.6Mn Mn B/D Year-On-Year

    The OPEC 10 member countries’ (excluding Iraq) oil production fell for the sixth consecutive month, declining by 960,000 b/d to 22.81mn b/d in January and by a total of 3.6mn b/d or 13.5% compared to January 2001 (Table 1). Total OPEC production in January was 25.12mn b/d, comp

  • OPEC Seeks Clarification Of Russian Policy Following Talks With Norway

    OPEC is seeking to develop a greater mutual understanding between itself and Russia on oil policy matters in two meetings planned during March. A top level OPEC delegation has been invited to Moscow during 3-5 March and is awaiting confirmation of the program, MEES learns, while

  • OPEC Keeps All Options Open On Volume And Price

    MEES Editor Emeritus Ian Seymour reports on the outcome of OPEC’s ministerial conference in Vienna on 15 March. As had been widely expected, at their Vienna conference on 15 March the OPEC Oil Ministers decided to leave present crude production quotas unchanged, thereby keep

  • OPEC Keeps All Options Open While Weighing Crucial Question Marks

    Ian Seymour and Walid Khadduri of MEES Report on the Outcome of OPEC’s Ministerial Conference in Vienna on 26 June. As expected, the OPEC Oil Ministers made no changes in respect of production quotas at their one-day meeting in Vienna on 26 June – in effect leaving all the

  • US Court Overturns OPEC Antitrust Ruling On Technicality

    A federal court in Alabama on 2 August overturned, on a technicality, an antitrust ruling against OPEC in April last year which found the organization guilty of conspiring to manipulate crude oil prices (MEES, 9 April 2001). In the latest ruling, the judge said that because of th

  • Raft Of Imponderables Facing OPEC In Osaka

    MEES Editor Emeritus Ian Seymour examines some of the thorny problems likely to be faced by the OPEC Oil Ministers at their 19September meeting in Osaka. At their forthcoming meeting in the Japanese city of Osaka on 19 September (timed to slot in just ahead of the 8thInternati

  • OPEC Decides To Wait And See

    MEES Editor-in-Chief Walid Khadduri reports on the OPEC Ministerial Conference held in Osaka, Japan on 19 September. While on the face of it OPEC oil ministers agreed at their 19 September ordinary conference in Osaka to sit it out and roll over the present volume of productio

  • The International Energy Forum: The Tasks Ahead

    Two major themes dominated the dialogue at the 8th International Energy Forum (IEF) held in Osaka, Japan on 21-23 September: the emphasis on free markets and oil price moderation by the consumers; and the affirmation and commitment to market stability and security of supply by th

  • Price Fall Takes Pressure Off OPEC

    The fall of the OPEC Basket price below $28/B last week took the pressure off the organization to consider an official increase of production quotas, although actual OPEC production continues to rise. OPEC has said it will increase the production ceiling in response to increased

  • BP Says All IOCs Should Have Equal Opportunities In Post-SaddamIraq

    BP’s CEO John Browne said on 29 October that all international oil companies (IOCs) should have equal opportunities in bidding for contracts in Iraq in the event of a regime change there. “We’ve let it be known that the thing we would like to make sure is if Iraq changes re

  • OPEC Acts To Assure Markets Of Adequate Oil Supplies

    MEES Editor-in-Chief Walid Khadduri Reports on the Outcome of OPEC’s Extraordinary Ministerial Conference in Vienna on 12 January. This report was emailed to subscribers on 13 January. The decision by the OPEC ministers at their extraordinary conference in Vienna on 12 Janua

  • Prospect Of US Military Rule In Iraq Raises Oil Questions

    US plans for the period immediately after any regime change in Baghdad – approximately two years of US-led military rule, with Iraqi representation limited to a consultative council – raises a number of questions about the handling of the country’s oil sector during this pe

  • WTI Nears $40/B On Low Stocks, Iraq War Fears

    Crude prices last week hit their highest level since the Gulf War, as the continuing drain on US products inventories and fears about a war with Iraq created ideal conditions for a market squeeze and a new price peak. With PADD II inventories dwindling, the US benchmark crude has

  • OPEC Stresses Commitment To Supply, Watches For Developments

    Walid Khadduri and Bill Farren-Price of MEES report on the OPEC Ministerial Conference held in Vienna on 11 March. OPEC ministers meeting in Vienna on 11 March agreed to maintain present oil production levels and reiterated their collective commitment to supplying global marke

  • Op-Ed:
    US Overview Of Global Energy Scene

    By Alan Larson The following is the text of a speech, entitled “Reliable Supplies of Energy For A Growing World Economy”, delivered by US Under Secretary of State for Energy Alan Larson at New York University on 4 March 2003. Energy remains a vital ingredient in the mod

  • EU Acknowledges OPEC’s Responsible Attitude Towards Oil Markets

    EU Acknowledges OPEC’s Responsible Attitude Towards Oil Markets EU Transport and Energy Commissioner Loyola de Palacio acknowledged on 1 April OPEC’s responsible attitude in mitigating oil price volatility driven by the Iraq crisis. Speaking at a World Energy Council semin

  • Op-Ed: Russia And Iraq:
    The Question Of The Russian Oil Contracts

    By Florence C Fee The following article by Florence C Fee was written exclusively for MEES. Ms Fee, a former executive with Chevron and Mobil, is president of FC Fee International Inc, an energy risk management consultancy based in London (www.fcfee.com). For four years she he

  • Oil Summit Highlights OPEC’s Quota Dilemma  

    OPEC is producing at near to full capacity to calm market supply fears, yet refiners are reluctant to buy more crude than they need immediately despite minimal inventories because of steep price backwardation. This is the dilemma facing OPEC ministers ahead of their extraordinary

  • OPEC Agrees To Cut Oil Output By 2Mn B/D From 1 June

    Walid Khadduri and Bill Farren-Price of MEES report on the OPEC Consultative Meeting held in Vienna on 24 April. OPEC ministers have agreed to cut oil production from current output levels by 2mn b/d from 1 June, targeting a new OPEC 10 (without Iraq) ceiling of 25.4mn b/d. At

  • OPEC Leaves Quotas On Hold As Iraq Remains Unknown Quantity

    Walid Khadduri and Bill Farren-Price of MEES report on the Extraordinary OPEC meeting held on 11 June in Doha. OPEC ministers agreed to leave the organization’s production quotas on hold at their meeting on 11 June in Doha, reflecting satisfaction within the group that oil p

  • SOMO To Export First Cargo After Regime Change, Regular Exports Await Term Talks

    Iraq’s State Oil Marketing Organization (SOMO) has scheduled liftings for the 9.5mn barrels of stored Kirkuk and Basrah Light crudes during the period 22-29 June (For names of companies, volumes and prices, see MEES, 16 June). The first shipment of Kirkuk crude to Tupras and Ce

  • OPEC Again Leaves Quotas Unchanged But Future Challenges Loom

    Walid Khadduri and Bill Farren-Price of MEES report from Vienna: For the second time in under two months, OPEC ministers agreed at their extraordinary meeting in Vienna on 31 July to keep production quotas steady, with continuing firm prices towards the top of the group’s pr

  • E&P Prospects In Iran, Iraq And UAE Top MENA Conference Agenda

    With industry attention increasingly turning to the exploration and production potential of OPEC members because of Iraq’s anticipated opening up to international companies, the MENA 2003 Oil and Gas Conference, held in London by Target Exploration on 16-17 September, raised qu

  • OPEC Leaves Quotas On Hold But Action To Cut Supplies Likely In Early 2004

    Walid Khadduri and Bill Farren-Price report from OPEC’s 128th Ministerial Conference in Vienna. As expected, OPEC ministers left production quotas unchanged at their extraordinary meeting in Vienna on 4 December, but pledged to review the market in early February with a view t

  • Iran’s Production Capacity And Reserves Take Center Stage At Tehran Conference

    While ‘Energy Security and Emerging Challenges’ was the theme of the 8th annual Institute for International Energy Studies (IIES) conference in Tehran, 29-30 November, a key topic was OPEC’s ability to meet growing market demand for oil. Given the current sensitivity of the

  • US Appeals Court Upholds Rejection Of OPEC Antitrust Case

    The federal appeals court in Atlanta, Georgia on 19 December upheld the rejection of the antitrust suit against OPEC by gasoline station operator Prewitt Enterprises of Birmingham, Alabama, on behalf of others (MEES, 25 August 2003). The lawsuit accused OPEC and other producing c

  • Op-Ed:
    The US Dollar And Oil Pricing Revisited

    By Ramzi Salman The following article was written for MEES by Ramzi Salman, Advisor to the Minister of Energy and Industry in Qatar. Dr Salman  formerly served as Deputy Secretary-General of OPEC and Head of Iraq’s SOMO. Once again, as has been customary whenever the US

  • OPEC Reiterates Concerns About Impact Of Weak Dollar On Purchasing Power

    The continued weakness of the US dollar against other major currencies is a cause of concern for oil producers who have strong trade links with Eurozone countries, according to OPEC’s December Monthly Oil Market Report. “The real value of a barrel of crude oil is mainly influ

  • OPEC Plans To Rein In Leakage In March, Cut Ceiling By 1Mn B/D In Second Quarter

    Walid Khadduri and Bill Farren-Price report from Algiers. OPEC ministers agreed on 10 February to rein in oil production in March over and above the organization’s present 24.5mn b/d ceiling and thereafter institute a 1mn b/d quota cut, to be distributed among member countri

  • OPEC To Scale Back Output Cut, Reflecting High Price Pressures

    OPEC remains committed to implementing a cut in oil production in April, but sustained high oil prices mean that the group has scaled back plans for the 2.5mn b/d reduction envisaged at the Algiers meeting on 10 February, MEESsoundings indicate. The new planned cut aims to bring

  • WTI Crude Hits 13-Year Peak As US Gasoline Squeeze Continues

    Crude prices last week followed an increasingly familiar pattern: rising due to US gasoline supply concerns ahead of weekly US stocks data – this time with WTI reaching a 13-year peak on 17 March – then falling as investment funds took profits by selling off a little of their

  • OPEC Confirms 1Mn B/D Oil Output Cut To Preempt Excessive 2Q Stock Build

    Walid Khadduri and Bill Farren-Price of MEES report from Vienna. OPEC ministers confirmed their decision to cut output for the OPEC-10 (OPEC without Iraq) by 1mn b/d to 23.5mn b/d as of 1 April at their ordinary ministerial meeting on 31 March in Vienna, despite oil prices tha

  • OPEC Decision Solicits Mixed Responses From Consumers And Producers

    The US Administration responded quickly and angrily to the OPEC Conference decision on 31 March that called for a reduction of the production ceiling by 1mn b/d as of 1 April. What makes the issue controversial is the fact that the race is very close between the two US leading pr

  • Strong Demand In China And US Boosting Prices, Says CGES

    Oil prices are being buoyed by strong product demand in the world’s two largest consumer countries – there is surging growth in China, and a tight gasoline market in the US is causing fears of summer shortages – according to London’s Centre for Global Energy Studies (CGES

  • OPEC Has Little Room To Maneuver As Oil Prices Continue To Rise

    The rise of crude oil prices to around $40/B caused by surging US gasoline prices and escalating violence in the Middle East has led to fresh calls for OPEC action to increase oil production. However, with OPEC producers aside from Saudi Arabia and UAE producing at close to capac

  • Saudis Signal Change In OPEC’s Course To Meet New Realities

    OPEC states face an unprecedented combination of complicating factors as they seek to formulate policy for the months ahead. Over recent months, OPEC policy has been influenced by unanimous predictions of a demand shortfall in 2Q 2004. Now, with those predictions proving to have

  • WTI Over $40/B Once More

    Crude oil prices rose last week, with WTI over $40/B once more, on supply-side concerns, particularly fears of disruptions from several countries at the same time, as well as a terrorism warning in the US. The initial rise followed an Iraqi pipeline blast and a Nigerian oil worke

  • Venezuela Proposes Raising OPEC Price Band

    Venezuela has formally requested OPEC to consider revising upwards its official target oil price band of $22-28/B for OPEC Basket crude. MEES learns that the request has been referred to the organization’s Long-Term Strategy Committee, which reports to the ministers periodicall

  • WTI Tops $45/B, Brent Passes $42/B As Supply Fears Escalate

    Front-month WTI and Brent crudes and the OPEC Basket hit new price highs last week as heightened hostilities in Iraq and bullish US stocks data outweighed Saudi reassurances about supplies. The past week saw another blow to the Iraqi export system as well the major insurgency in

  • Saudi Arabia Ready To Commit 1.3Mn B/D Spare Capacity If Demanded By Customers

    Saudi Arabia is prepared to commit its surplus production capacity of more than 1.3mn b/d, “which could be used immediately if required”, to help ensure “the stability of the international oil market and prevent oil prices from escalating”, the kingdom’s Oil Minister Al

  • EIA Predicts Rising US Dependence On Oil Imports To 2025

    US energy consumption is expected to increase more rapidly than domestic energy supply through 2025, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA) of the US Department of Energy. In the Annual Energy Outlook 2005, published on 9 December, the EIA says that net imports

  • Middle East Producers Set To Add New Oil Production Capacity In 2005

    The narrowing buffer of spare production capacity for OPEC oil producers in 2004 refocused interest on oil capacity expansion plans for 2005. Bill Farren-Price reviews major new projects and capacity expansion planned by Middle East producers and finds that not all scheduled new

  • OPEC Revises 2005 Demand Higher But Sees Possible 1Q Stockbuild On Strong Supply

    OPEC has revised upwards its oil demand growth figure for 2005 to 1.65mn b/d or 2% resulting in an annual average world demand of 83.64mn b/d, due to solid consumption data emerging for November and December 2004 and the upwards revision to forecasts for global economic growth in

  • Market Tensions Ease After OPEC Meeting And Iraq Elections

    Crude oil prices eased last week, after OPEC ministers agreed on a widely-anticipated rollover of production quotas, and after Iraqi elections on the same day, 30 January, passed without attacks on oil installations. An initial fall in crude prices on 31 January was turned around

  • OPEC Weighs Strong Oil Demand As Prices Test Record Highs

    OPEC ministers are likely to roll over production quotas when they meet in Isfahan, Iran on 16 March as resilient oil demand and the sustained late winter cold weather in the Atlantic Basin have driven oil prices up to record highs again, despite evidence that the physical market

  • OPEC Lifts Ceiling 0.5Mn B/D Citing Strong 2H 2005 Demand, Pressure For Further Raise

    MEES reports from Isfahan, Iran on the 135th Meeting of the OPEC Conference, held on 16 March. In response to rising forecasts for third and fourth quarter demand, OPEC oil ministers agreed on 16 March to raise the organization’s production ceiling by 500,000 b/d to 27.5mn b

  • Crude Prices Smash Records Again Despite OPEC Supply Pledge

    Crude oil prices continued their skyward journey last week, as traders bet on tighter markets ahead, despite OPEC’s 16 March decision to increase output if prices remained high. OPEC’s decision to raise the OPEC-10 production target to 27.5mn b/d was viewed as rubber-stamping

  • OPEC Lifts Ceiling By Initial 0.5Mn B/D In Fresh Bid To Cool Prices

    OPEC's decision to legitimize current production levels by increasing quotas will put a new floor under present output but will bring no new barrels to the market. With its production policy options running out in line with thinning spare output capacity, OPEC has blamed high oil

  • Markets Unmoved By Increased OPEC Production Quotas

    Crude oil markets were unmoved by OPEC’s announcement on 15 June of a 500,000 b/d increase in production quotas beginning 1 July, and a further 500,000 b/d by mid-September if prices remain high. Benchmark crudes continued to rise further, bearing out OPEC’s argument that cur

  • OPEC Concerned About Rising Oil Prices, Sees Its Total Oil Production At 30.4Mn B/D

    OPEC issued a statement on 9 August noting its concerns about the rise in oil prices to new all-time highs in recent days and reiterating its commitment to action to support market stability. OPEC said the latest rise in oil prices had “been triggered by a series of refinery ou

  • WTI Tops $66/B As US Refinery Glitches Constrict Gasoline Supplies

    Crude oil prices set new records once again last week. WTI hit $66.00/B and Brent touched $65.66/B in intra-day trading on 11 August, while in electronic trading on 12 August WTI climbed even higher to $66.11/B. A volatile week of trading opened with a surge on 8 August as the US

  • Crude Prices Blown To New Heights By Hurricane Katrina

    WTI crude passed $70/B for the first time last week as Hurricane Katrina, the worst Gulf of Mexico storm in many years, shut in production and refining capacity and left a trail of unprecedented damage as it blew onshore into Louisiana. WTI peaked at $70.85/B in intra-day trading

  • OPEC Countries Pledge Aid To US After Hurricane Katrina

    OPEC countries led by Kuwait have pledged humanitarian aid and petroleum products to the US in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, OPEC said on 4 September. Kuwait alone has pledged a $500mn aid package, comprising both humanitarian and petroleum products – in particular gasoline. K

  • Iran Pushes Against Restraints On Nuclear Development

    Iran pushed against the restraints on its nuclear program last week, with recently-elected President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad telling the UN General Assembly on 17 September that the country was determined to develop the technology to carry out the full range of upgrading of uranium.

  • OPEC Adopts Comprehensive Long-Term Strategy

    The following statement was released by OPEC on 20 September following the adoption by OPEC oil ministers of the long term strategy. This strategy, which was prepared over a period of two and a half years, provides a coherent and consistent vision and framework for the Organiz

  • Supply Uncertainty Tops List of Expected Oil Price Drivers For 2007

    After 2006 saw continued oil consumption growth, dominated by China and the US, demand growth is expected to be less buoyant but still substantial in 2007. Continuing global economic expansion is expected to provide a firm floor for markets this year, but David Knott learns that

  • Tumbling Oil Represents New Threat To MENA Capacity Expansion

    The sharp fall in oil prices so far in 2007 and the prospect of further declines raise concerns that planned projects across the region – oil and gas, petrochemical, refining or power – could be delayed or even cancelled. Already facing the pressures of rising contractor and

  • US Energy Outlook
    And The State Of The Union

    George W Bush on 23 January made his seventh State of the Union address – his first before a Democrat-controlled Congress, at a time of some of the lowest approval ratings ever suffered by a US president. Most of his speech focused on the war in Iraq (MEES, 29 January). But oth

  • OPEC Leaves Oil Output Steady As Upbeat View Of Global Economy Wins Out For Now

    Bill Farren-Price reports from Vienna. As expected, OPEC ministers left oil production on hold at their meeting in Vienna on 15 March, acknowledging the risk of a slowdown in the US economy but citing the compensating effects of buoyant economic conditions elsewhere (MEES, 12

  • Iran Tensions Lift Oil Prices To Six Month Highs

    Toughened UN Security Council sanctions against Iran and the Islamic Republic’s arrest of 15 British sailors and marines in the Gulf on 23 March kept oil markets simmering last week, lifting WTI and Brent prices to their highest level this year and helping push the OPEC Basket

  • Securing The Future – An Oil Company Perspective

    By Tony Hayward The following is the text of a speech by BP Group Chief Executive Tony Hayward at the EAGE Annual Conference in London on 11 June. What I would like to do is to step back and reflect on the challenges the world faces in the matter of energy and what we as an

  • OPEC Blames Surging Oil Prices On Tight Refining Capacity, Geopolitics

    OPEC ministers and officials have blamed surging oil prices on a global shortage of refining capacity, geopolitical tensions and the increased impact of financial market speculation. In a statement issued on 11 July, OPEC Secretary-General ΄Abd Allah al-Badri said that high oil

  • OPEC Basket Reaches New Peak And Brent Nears All-Time High On Supply Concerns

    OPEC Basket crude reached a new peak last week and Brent neared the high-point of August 2006, as traders and investors gauged the potential for further supply disruptions both upstream and downstream. The OPEC Basket hit a record $73.23/B on 19 July, exceeding the $72.64/B mark

  • OPEC Increases Oil Output To Meet Winter Demand As Price Concerns Grow

    Against a background of falling US oil stocks, customer enquiries for extra barrels have prompted OPEC to legitimize 1mn b/d of over-target production while adding another 500,000 b/d to production from November. The decision, which will help balance the market in the fourth quar

  • Ecuador Seeks To Rejoin OPEC After Tightening Terms For IOCs

    Ecuador plans to resume its full membership of OPEC at the organization’s next meeting, in a move apparently aimed at raising the South American producer’s international profile. The announcement by Ecuadorian Oil Minister Galo Chiriboga came shortly after President Rafael Co

  • WTI Passes $90/B, OPEC Basket Tops $81/B, On Geopolitics And Dollar Weakness

    WTI front-month crude set a new peak of $90.02/B in electronic trading on 19 October, Brent also reached new highs and the OPEC Basket price exceeded $81/B for the first time. Increases early in the week resulted from the Turkish government’s threat to send troops into northern

  • OPEC Holds Output Steady, Deciding Market Well Supplied

    OPEC ministers decided on 5 December to hold output steady, despite a recent run of record crude prices which took WTI near to $100/B. The announcement came after a week of market expectation of an OPEC output hike of up to 500,000 b/d, which unexpectedly took around $10/B off be

  • Oil Market Drivers Unchanged For 2008, High Crude Prices Expected To Continue

    Crude oil prices had their most volatile year ever in 2007, and the conditions which pushed WTI close to $100/B in November are still in place and likely to keep oil markets buoyant in 2008. David Knott discovers that, while there are wide variations in expectations for both dema

  • Bush, Sarkozy Call For More OPEC Crude Ahead, November Production Up

    The presidents of two leading consumer nations, the US and France, have called on OPEC to supply more crude to the market to calm prices. The comments are the most forceful expression of consumer concern in more than a year – a period that has seen oil prices surge to over $90/

  • OPEC Rolls Over And Ratchets Up

    [This article was emailed to MEES subscribers as an OPEC Special Report on 2 February.] OPEC ministers, as widely expected, rolled over their 29.67mn b/d output ceiling at their 1 February meet-ing in Vienna. Ministers cited global demand uncertainty and the seasonal second qu

  • WTI Tops $101/B As Investors Buy Crude Futures As An Inflation Hedge

    WTI and Brent crude prices set new records last week, with investment funds clamouring for oil futures as a hedge against inflation and traders worried over potential supply disruptions in Venezuela and Nigeria. WTI and Brent reached new intra-day peaks of $100.10/B and $98.70/B

  • OPEC Looks To
    Square Circle

    OPEC ministers head to their 5 March meeting in Vienna in something of a quandary. With oil prices over the $100/B mark for much of last week, an official cut to the group’s 29.67mn b/d output ceiling would send a message of callous indifference to the plight of consumers. But

  • OPEC Brushes Off Consumer Appeals And Rolls Over

    OPEC rolled over its 29.67mn b/d output target at its 5 March Vienna meeting. Ministers were unmoved by appeals from consumers, including US president George W Bush, for action to bring down record prices. Weak fundamentals, the seasonal second quarter dip in demand and global ec

  • International Oil Firms
    Eye Iraqi Prize

    International oil companies (IOCs) are flocking for the chance to get involved in Iraq’s first upstream bidding round. Despite the considerable challenges, Baghdad is planning to both launch the development round and conclude a series of Technical Support Agreements (TSAs) with

  • $100/B Oil Reached Through Dollar Weakness, But Marginal Costs Support High Price Era

    OPEC Basket crude exceeded $100/B for the first time last week, while WTI broke new ground above $110/B. While the recent record-breaking run for crude prices has resulted largely from investors buying oil futures as an inflation hedge, there is a growing consensus that changing

  • WTI Tests $120/B, Underpinned By Weak Dollar And Lifted By Tightening Fundamentals

    Crude oil prices continued their record-breaking run last week. WTI reached an intra-day peak of $119.90/B on 22 April before expiry of the May contract, while Brent and the OPEC Basket continued climbing in volatile trading. The rise was supported by a heady cocktail of factors:

  • OPEC Sees
    Call On Its Crude Firm

    OPEC revised up projections for the demand for its crude this year in its latest Monthly Oil Market Report (MOMR). While its estimate for 2008 global demand growth was steady at 1.16mn b/d, just 40,000 b/d down on last month’s report, it cut sharply its projection for non-OPEC

  • Indonesia To Withdraw From OPEC In 2008 Because Of Declining Production

    Indonesia will withdraw from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) by the end of 2008 because declining production and investment have made it difficult to meet domestic needs, said Minister for Energy and Mineral Resources Purnomo Yusgiantoro on 27 May. Indone

  • WTI Tests $140/B After Israel Threatens Strike On Iranian Nuclear Installations

    WTI crude reached an intra-day price peak of $139.12/B on 6 June after Israeli Transport Minister Shaul Mofaz warned that an attack on Iranian sites “will be unavoidable” if Tehran continues with its nuclear program. Both WTI and Brent crudes achieved settlement records that

  • OPEC Sees Ample Supply Outlook, But Warns Over Consumers’ Policy

    By Rafiq Latta in Vienna OPEC used the 10 July launch of its World Oil Outlook 2008 (WOO) and Annual Statistical Bulletin 2007 to rebut its critics, stressing that both present supply and future production capacity were ample to meet demand. OPEC member countries are currently i

  • Oil Price Speculators And US Regulations

    By Shawkat M Hammoudeh and Mark A Thompson The following article was written for MEES. Shawkat M Hammoudeh is Professor of Economics at Drexel University and Mark A Thompson is Associate Professor of Economics at Augusta State University. They can be reached at [email protected]

  • OPEC Acts To Engineer Soft Landing

    OPEC ministers gathered in Vienna on 9 September amid a two-month price slide that has taken around $45/B off benchmark WTI since record highs in early July. Meeting into the early hours of 10 September, OPEC ignored consumer appeals to keep output unchanged and made an unambiguo

  • Oil Prices Resume Slide As Markets Question US Financial Bail-Out Plan

    As the crisis on Wall Street moved to Washington last week, WTI crude experienced an historic price spike on 22 September in a bout of short-covering prior to the expiry of the October contract. WTI jumped by $25/B to $130/B during intraday trading and then settled at $120.92/B.

  • CGES Says Oil Demand Weakening Amid Financial Turmoil

    Demand for crude oil is weakening almost daily, “shifting the sentiment of oil markets from bullish to bearish,” the Centre for Global Energy Studies (CGES) said in its latest Monthly Oil Report, released on 22 September. The London-based research center noted that oil consum

  • OPEC Meets To Address Global Economic Turmoil

    OPEC ministers arrived in Vienna last week amid unprecedented global financial turmoil and mounting evidence of an oil demand collapse. As MEES went to press, it was a near certainty that a cut would be announced at their 24 October emergency meeting: the question was over the ex

  • OPEC Agrees 1.5Mn B/D Production Cut At Emergency Meeting

    OPEC ministers have agreed to reduce oil supplies by a total of just over 1.5mn b/d effective 1 November, at an emergency meeting convened in Vienna on 24 October to discuss the global financial crisis and tumbling oil prices,MEES reported in its 24 November OPEC Special Report f

  • Libya’s Oil Development Plans Gather Pace, IOCs Outline EOR Projects

    Libya’s plans to hike crude output from its main oil fields are gathering momentum, and advanced technology is critical to improving recovery rates at those fields. This message was delivered by senior international oil company (IOC) executives at the North African Oil and Gas

  • WTI Slides Below $60/B As Demand Pessimism Outweighs OPEC Supply Intentions

    WTI crude slipped below the $60/B mark last week, while the OPEC Basket price fell below $50/B for the first time since January 2007. Again, the main market drivers were concerns over stuttering oil demand and expectation that OPEC would move to cut supply targets further in a bi

  • OPEC Sounds ‘Demand Destruction’ Alert

    “Demand destruction dominates the oil market,” warns OPEC in its latest Monthly Oil Market Report (MOMR), published on 17 November. A number of key indicators – year-on-year demand, the 3Q demand trajectory, the collapse of the OPEC Basket price in October, and the hemorrha

  • WTI Holds Above $40/B As Saudis Trim Supplies Ahead Of OPEC Meeting

    WTI prices remained above $40/B last week, despite forecasts from the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the Energy Information Administration (EIA) of the US Department of Energy predicting for the first time that oil demand would actually shrink this year because of the glob

  • OPEC Launches Output Offensive Against Price Slide, Stock Levels

    OPEC ministers meeting in Oran, Algeria, on 17 December announced unprecedented production cuts in a bid to trim corpulent inventory levels and stop a five month long price hemorrhage which has taken $100/B off crude oil prices. However, the dramatic headline figures – a 4.2mn

  • London Conference Highlights Widening Producer/Consumer Rift

    The 19 December London Energy Ministers Meeting of oil producers and consumers underlined how much the dynamics of the relationship between the two sides have transformed in just six months as a result of sliding prices. The meeting was held as a follow up to the 22 June emergenc

  • OPEC Gears Up For Compliance Challenge

    OPEC output fell in December, but by a relatively modest 240,000 b/d for the whole membership given the scale of the production restraint needed to meet its 24.845mn b/d January target, according to MEES estimates. However, starting this month all indications are that members are

  • Riyadh Declares Intent To Reduce Output Below Its OPEC Quota

    Falling global crude prices have prompted OPEC leading producer Saudi Arabia to declare it will cut supplies to below its 8.05mn b/d output target in February. The Saudi move comes at a time when the call on OPEC crude is expected to fall by almost 2mn b/d from 4Q08 to 2Q09, acco

  • IOCs Continue To Drive North Africa’s Exploration Success

    Exploration activity in North Africa last year was characterized by aggressive and rewarding drilling campaigns, especially in Egypt, which started 2008 with the offshore Satis gas discovery, and in Libya, where the year ended with a big gas find in the Ghadames Basin, and anothe

  • Oil Price Drivers Shift To Low Gear For 2009, As Economic Gloom Dominates

    A number of factors are expected to be driving crude oil prices during 2009, but the main impact is likely to come from the deepening global economic downturn – which is dragging down consumer demand – and OPEC’s response. In its latest Oil Market Report, the Internation

  • Producers Warn Of Years Of Fallout From Economic Crisis

    Months of ever bleaker economic news and the ensuing swathe of major project delays are forcing OPEC producers into a more pessimistic assessment of when oil demand will pick up. Senior OPEC figures, in a series of addresses in London and Houston on 9-10 February, warned of a sus

  • Economy And Ecology Challenges Dominate OPEC Oil Seminar

    The global economic meltdown and the need to forge a new international agreement to combat climate change dominated proceedings at the biannual OPEC seminar on 18-19 March in Vienna. Views as usual in consumer/producer meetings differed widely. But delegates were unanimous in cal

  • OPEC Sees Promise Among Bleak Market Fundamentals

    OPEC further downgraded oil demand estimates for 2009, with its projection for the call on its crude slashed a massive 2.1mn b/d compared to last year, the latest OPEC Monthly Oil Market Report (MOMR) shows. But signs of improvement in the global economy were helping “to improv

  • OPEC Ministers Maintain Oil Output Target, Naimi Optimistic About Market Recovery

    OPEC ministers, meeting in Vienna on 28 May, brushed off concerns over swelling global oil inventories to keep their 24.845mn b/d output ceiling unchanged. Downside risks remain considerable, ministers conceded, but a cut was difficult to justify given both the fragile state of t

  • OPEC And EU Find Common Ground On Oil Prices

    Both OPEC and EU delegates at the sixth ministerial OPEC/EU dialogue meeting in Vienna on 23 June argued that current oil prices were acceptable to both producers and consumers, and could encourage further oil investment without damaging the global economy. “$70/B definitely

  • Speculation Returns To Crude Market As Price Advances Ahead Of Forecasts

    Crude oil prices have increased faster than expected, hitting $72.68/B on 11 June with little support from fundamentals. Forecasts made earlier this year put crude in the $70+/B range in the third or fourth quarter provided that demand picked-up. While the key forecasting agencie

  • OPEC Slashes Demand Forecasts 

    The global economic recession and new energy policies being implemented by consumer countries are driving a fundamental and far-reaching transformation of the world oil market, warned OPEC officials at the 8 July launch of the organization’s World Oil Outlook (WOO) and Annual S

  • Crude Oil Prices See Year Of Boom And Bust

    Crude oil prices experienced a year of turmoil in 2008. WTI hit an all-time high during intraday trading on Nymex on 11 July at $147.27/B, before a record-breaking descent which took it below $34/B on 19 December – a period of little more than five months. From the start of the

  • OPEC Eyes On The Global Economy As Ministers Hold Output Steady

    OPEC ministers meeting in Vienna on 9-10 September kept production targets unchanged, as widely expected, amid conflicting market signals. Inventories have remained stubbornly high despite eight months of relatively disciplined output cuts. But firm prices – in the $64/B-$72/B

  • Baghdad Bidding Rounds Threaten World Oil Order

    Baghdad will make awards for the over 35bn barrels  of oil reserves on offer in its second upstream bidding round on 11-12 December, Iraq’s Ministry of Oil announced at an Istanbul road show. Together with fields awarded or under negotiation from its first round, Iraq appears

  • OPEC Ministers
    Extend Oran Output Decision

    OPEC ministers kept their 24.845mn b/d output target unchanged when they met in Luanda, Angola on 22 December. The decision, widely expected, marks a fourth consecutive rollover of the quota set in Oran, Algeria, in December 2008 (MEES, 22/29 December 2008). A tangible sense o

  • WTI Tops $80/B
    Despite US Crude Stockbuild

    Crude oil prices were buoyed last week by improving US economic data and a weaker dollar, so that WTI held above $80/B despite US weekly petroleum data showing an unexpectedly large rise in crude oil stocks. In the 3 March Oil Comment, Newedge analyst Antoine Halff observed: “W

  • OPEC Rolls Over Production Targets As Demand Concerns Ease

    OPEC ministers meeting in Vienna on 17 March kept their 24.845mn b/d output ceiling unchanged. The state of the world economy and its impact on oil demand remain concerns and, the secretariat says, oil markets are oversupplied. But behind the cautionary caveats there is mounting

  • Economic Optimism Keeps WTI Above $80/B Mark

    Improving optimism in the US economy allowed WTI crude to settle at $83.70/B on 22 April as US equities gained on the release of quarterly reports that showed improved earnings. Crude prices had slumped when it became clear that the financial crisis in Greece was more serious tha

  • Crude Oil Price Slide Continues as Eurozone Concerns Linger

    The slide in crude prices continued last week, as concerns over the Eurozone debt crisis and its potential impact on the global economy and oil demand saw investors exit riskier assets in favor of safer havens such as the dollar and gold. OPEC views the price decline as being unr

  • OPEC’s
    Mission And Power

    The author is Head of the Petroleum Market Analysis Department, OPEC and Energy Affairs, at the Iranian Ministry of Petroleum. This analysis is based upon the personal opinion of the author and does not represent the official view of the Ministry. The author is contactable at msm

  • OPEC Sees End
    To Fall In Demand For Its Crude

    OPEC Sees End To Fall In Demand For Its Crude In 2011 demand for OPEC crude will rise, albeit modestly, predicts the latest OPEC Monthly Oil Market Report (MOMR). This follows three consecutive years of annual falls in the call for its crude, notes the MOMR, but it urges cauti

  • OPEC Confounds Doubters To Mark 50th Anniversary

    The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) on 14 September celebrated the 50th anniversary of its creation in Baghdad. The intervening five decades have seen setbacks, crises and long periods of relative market impotence, but the organization has without a doubt sil

  • Iraq Dominates Conference Debate On Market ‘Game Changers’

    Iraq’s new oil policy, which has seen agreements for a major expansion of oil production capacity, and a rapidly shifting global economy are among the ‘new game changers’ discussed at the Oil & Money 2010 conference on 12-13 October. However, it was Iraq that dominated

  • Naimi Dismisses Notion Of End Of ‘Easy Oil’ For Saudi Arabia

    Saudi Arabia is by no means close to exhausting the development of available ‘easy oil’ reserves, Saudi Minister of Oil Ali Naimi asserted on 18 October. Rafiq Latta reports from Riyadh. Pointing to remaining proven reserves of 88bn barrels at the giant Ghawar field, Mr Na

  • Op-Ed:
    OPEC’s Algeria: In Search Of Lost Influence

    By Ali Aissaoui The following article was submitted by Ali Aissaoui, former member and Chairman of the OPEC Board of Governors, in response to a MEES request for recollections of memorable moments in OPEC’s history, to mark the organization’s 50th anniversary (MEES, 20 Sep

  • IEA World Energy Outlook Warns Of ‘Unprecedented Uncertainty’

    The energy world faces unprecedented uncertainty, according to the World Energy Outlook 2010 (WEO2010), launched by the International Energy Agency (IEA) on 9 November. Among the major uncertainties is how governments will implement recent policies to tackle climate change. The I

  • WTI Eases From Lower $90s/B Range, But IEA’s Birol Warns Price In ‘Danger Zone’

    The price of WTI settled at $88.38/B on 6 January after spending most of the holiday season above $90/B. The market had been buoyant since mid-December, but a stronger dollar and weaker than expected US economic data pulled WTI below the $90/B mark on 6 January amid faltering mar

  • OPEC Output Hits Two-Year High In Response To Price Surge

    OPEC responded to rising oil prices in December by hiking production to the highest levels in two years. But continued rising prices into January suggest that increased output has been a “little too little, a little too late,” notes one analyst. And the latest shipping data p

  • ‘Attiyah Hands Over Qatar Energy Portfolio To Sada

    Although the role of Minister of Energy and Industry has changed hands, it is unclear when former minister 'Abd Allah al-'Attiyah will relinquish chairmanship of QP and board positions on its subsidiaries. The new minister’s challenges include US shale gas and whether to increa

  • Badri Hits Back After IEA Labels Oil Prices ‘Alarming’

    OPEC Secretary-General 'Abd Allah al-Badri slammed the International Energy Agency (IEA) on 18 January for having labeled current oil prices as “alarming,” charging the consumer watchdog with fear-mongering. This charge came a day after IEA Executive Director Nobuo Tanaka cal

  • OPEC Shrugs Off Threat To Supply From Potential Egypt Disruption

    OPEC views as highly unlikely the potential threat of a supply disruption hitting vital Suez oil transportation arteries as a result of current political turmoil. Current supply is sufficient, but if there is a serious shortage of oil then OPEC is ready to act, the organization's

  • Unrest In Egypt Puts WTI Back In $90/B Zone, Pushes Brent Over $100/B

    Continuing political unrest in Egypt and concern for the security of the Suez Canal has pushed the price of WTI above $90/B to settle at $90.54/B on 3 February while ICE Brent closed at $101.76/B after having punched through the three-digit mark on 31 January. A stronger dollar p

  • WTI Climbs Through Week, Brent Nears $120/B As Libya Violence Dominates Market

    Crude oil prices traded above $100/B during the week as alarm spread throughout global markets over events in Libya where popular unrest against the near 42-year rule of Colonel Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi has become increasingly violent. Most oil companies operating in Libya have been f

  • OPEC Supply Surge
    Fails To Dampen Prices

    OPEC production has been above 30mn b/d for the past three months, revised output figures from MEES show. And supply looks set to rise further, with key Middle East Gulf producers Kuwait, UAE and Saudi Arabia all gearing up to plug the gap left by plunging Libyan output. But pric

  • OPEC Report Points To
    Tightening Fundamentals

    Both demand and the call on OPEC crude are set to rise sharply next quarter, according to OPEC’s latest Monthly Oil Market Report (MOMR) released on 12 April. And with OPEC supply badly down in March, the report gives ample evidence that current high prices are not down solely

  • OPEC Holds Outlook Steady
    In A Volatile Market

    The latest OPEC Monthly Oil Market Report (MOMR) kept projections for economic growth, oil demand trajectory and the call on OPEC crude broadly unchanged from last month in the face of extreme market volatility, which witnessed “the sharpest weekly [price] decline on record.”

  • OPEC Talks Collapse
    In ‘Worst’ Meeting

    OPEC’s 8 June meeting in Vienna ended in a shock failure to arrive at any decision. The talks’ collapse has, for the foreseeable future, effectively killed off the current targets system and split OPEC into two separate camps. The first, made up of Gulf Cooperation Council (G

  • Op-Ed: Financing MENA Energy Investment
    In A Time Of Turmoil  

    By Ali Aissaoui The following article by Ali Aissaoui, Senior Consultant at the Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (APICORP), is published concurrently in APICORP’s Economic Commentary dated June-July 2011. The views expressed are those of the author only. Comments and f

  • OPEC Secretariat Warns Of Danger Of Supply Inaction

    A failure to supply a projected 2mn b/d jump in the ‘call on OPEC crude’ in the second half of the year threatens economic growth, warns OPEC Secretary General 'Abd Allah al-Badri. Mr Badri’s comments, reinforced by arguments made by OPEC’s most recent Monthly Oil Market

  • OPEC, IEA Supply ‘Surge’ Fails To Subdue Oil Prices

    The combination of pledged supply increases from OPEC’s GCC members and the start of a 60mn barrels release of strategic stocks by the OECD’s 28-member International Energy Agency (IEA) have so far completely failed, except for the first few days, to make any dent in oil pric

  • Caracas Claims
    Reserves Top Spot

    A 40.4% upgrade to its estimate for proven oil reserves saw Venezuela leapfrog Saudi Arabia last year to claim the world’s largest oil reserves, according to the latest edition of OPEC’s Annual Statistical Bulletin (ASB), published on 18 July.  Venezuela’s claimed 2010

  • OPEC Highlights Economic Uncertainty

    The latest edition of OPEC’s annual World Oil Outlook (WOO) highlights the economic uncertainty facing world oil markets and the need for an appropriate consumer response to mitigate investment risk. Accordingly, the 2011 WOOhas added an Accelerated Transportation Technology an

  • WTI Tops $100/B, Falls Back On Eurozone Worries

    The price of WTI crude settled at $102.59/B on 16 November on news that the flow of the Seaway crude oil pipeline would be reversed in order to move crude from congested Cushing, Oklahoma, to the US Gulf Coast. But WTI slipped on 17 November to settle at $98.82/B due to profit-ta

  • Gulf Arab Producers: We Can Guarantee Energy Security

    At a time of rising tension in the Middle East Gulf as Iran and the West face off, there is also uncertainty over the future of the Arab Spring. Against this background and a constant hum of ‘peak oil’ warnings, Gulf Arab hydrocarbon producers have said they can guarantee glo

  • Saudi Arabia Flexes Capacity Muscle To Lift OPEC Output To Three-Year High

    OPEC ministers head to Vienna for their 14 December meeting on the back of the highest monthly production figure for three years, MEES estimates show. Saudi output of close to 10mn b/d is near historic peaks of 30 years ago, writes Rafiq Latta. Pre-meeting expectations are tha

  • OPEC Head Warns Against EU Ban On Iranian Oil

    OPEC Secretary General ΄Abd Allah al-Badri said on 7 December he hoped the EU would not agree to impose an oil import embargo on Iran, warning that it would prove difficult for the region to replace the shortfall such a move would create. “I really hope there will be no embarg

  • Peace Breaks Out
    In Vienna

    OPEC ministers, meeting in Vienna on 14 December, raised the group’s output ceiling for the first time since Lehman Brothers collapsed in September 2008. The new ceiling of 30mn b/d was chosen to reflect OPEC’s view for the ‘call’ on its crude next year and encompasses al

  • Tehran Defiant As EU Agrees ‘In Principle’ To Iranian Oil Embargo

    European governments reached a tentative agreement ‘in principle’ on 4 January to carry out earlier threats of an embargo on all imports of Iranian oil, significantly increasing the pressure on the Tehran government with less than two months to go till the country’s parliam

  • Op-Ed: Challenges Ahead Of Ban
    On Oil Imports From Iran

    By Saeid Khoshrou Mr Khoshrou is a petroleum market analyst for the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) and a member of the board of directors of the Iranian Association for Energy Economics (IRAEE). This article is a personal opinion and does not represent the view of NIOC or

  • Iran Sanctions Crisis Deepens

    The US has hit Iran with new sanctions and is preparing more, scaring Arab Gulf banks. Food shortages loom over Iran just before an election. The rulers’ power struggle deepens and parliament backs off its threat to end oil exports to Europe. Iran squeezes India to sign a gas f

  • Naimi Slams ‘Fear Prices’

    Unjustified concern over a lack of supply is primarily responsible for driving oil prices to recent economically dangerous heights of $125/B, Saudi Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Ali Naimi told reporters on 20 March. Mr Naimi pledged Saudi Arabia would act, if called

  • OPEC And IEA At Odds Over Sustained High Oil Prices

    Producers' group OPEC and consumers' organization the International Energy Agency (IEA) agree that oil prices are too high and too volatile. But they disagree about the cause – OPEC says that with its production at record levels speculation is the only logical explanation; the

  • OPEC Rolls Over Output Target Amid Mounting Economic Gloom

    OPEC ministers, meeting in Vienna on 13-14 June, maintained their 30mn b/d output ceiling. The decision, widely expected, comes as OPEC heads into a third quarter riven with uncertainties over the health of the global economy and the potential impact of looming sanctions on Irani

  • BP Sees OPEC Oil Smoothing Market In ‘Year Of Disruptions’

    BP’s Statistical Review Of World Energy 2012 describes 2011 as “a year of disruptions,” in which political upheaval and natural disasters translated into huge and unpredictable disruptions in the global energy system. Yet because of a massive increase in OPEC oil production

  • New US Sanctions Hit Iran, Upstream Sector Already Stressed

    Iran has replaced some international oil companies (IOCs) with local firms, claims to have funded projects with rial-backed bonds, has improved buyback contracts and is considering allowing production sharing agreements (PSAs) to attract more investment. But as further sanctions

  • OPEC Oil Revenues Top $1 Trillion Mark

    In 2011, for the first time ever, revenues from OPEC petroleum exports exceeded $1 trillion, OPEC’s latest Annual Statistical Bulletin (ASB) shows. A 2011 average OPEC Basket price of $107.46/B pushed revenues ahead of the previous record of $996bn, set in 2008 with an average

  • US Tightens Iran Sanctions As Tehran Tones Down Hormuz Threats

    The US president and Congress have separately tightened the sanctions screw on Iran, drawing criticism from both Tehran and China. While Iran and some of its customers scramble to find insurance cover for tankers carrying Iranian oil, Tehran has toned down its threats over the St

  • OPEC Output Surge Fails To Rein In Prices 

    OPEC production registered a healthy rise in August. But surging seasonal demand within OPEC blunted the impact of buoyant output levels on exports. And prices continued to rise, seemingly oblivious to what was the second highest monthly OPEC production since October 2008. OPEC

  • High Prices Alarm Gulf Members

    Current crude prices are too high and should be around $100/B, a senior Gulf source tells MEES. “We are working to bring down the price,” he said on 20 September, adding: “the Saudis are consulting their clients and telling them they are ready to supply more.”  A majo

  • Shale Revolution, Slowing Demand Growth Cut Into Call On OPEC

    By Rafiq Latta A combination of surging non-OPEC supply and weaker oil demand growth has prompted OPEC into a radical reassessment of prospects for global demand for OPEC crude. OPEC’s annual World Oil Outlook 2012 (WOO), published on 8 November, projects the 2035 Call on OP

  • Ministers Roll Over Ceiling Again, Badri Gets Seventh Year

    By Rafiq Latta And Nader Itayim In Vienna OPEC ministers meeting in Vienna on 12 December rolled over their 30mn b/d output ceiling and decided to extend the term of Secretary-General, ‘Abd Allah al-Badri, for another twelve months, for what will be his seventh year in the p

  • Higher Oil Prices Adopted In 2013 Budgets

    Most oil producing countries have adopted higher crude prices for their 2013 budgets. As with 2012 budget deliberations, the increase has been spurred on in MENA countries by jumps in expenditure due to the stimulus programs put in place to appease Arab Spring protestors. Higher

  • Vive La Difference! IEA, OPEC Split On Supply, Price Views

    Some convergence on projected medium-term supply-demand balances between OPEC and OECD energy watchdog, the IEA, masks serious differences on views over future North American supply, Chinese demand and oil price assumptions, as a recent study comparing their respective scenarios

  • Caracas At Crossroads After Chavez Death

    The death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on 5 March leaves the country’s oil industry at a crossroads. Mr Chavez, a charismatic demagogue, albeit a democratically elected one, has sharply divided opinion since coming to power 14 years ago.  He remains a hero for many of V

  • Naimi Hails Asia Relationship

    Saudi Arabia will continue to nurture its Asian energy ties, pledged Saudi Oil Minister, Ali Naimi. Speaking in Hong Kong on 18 March, Mr Naimi predicted Riyadh’s already close relationship with the region would grow stronger in the decades ahead, and highlighted Saudi ties wit

  • Prices Fall On Economic Growth Concerns

    OPEC Basket prices sunk below the $100/B mark for the first time since last July as concerns mounted that the global economic recovery was at risk of derailment. Eurozone fears in the wake of the Cypriot debt crisis (see p19) and worries over the trajectory of Chinese growth w

  • IEA: US Shale To Sideline OPEC Going Forward

    The recent surge in North American oil production is set to send “shockwaves” through global oil markets, and likely stymie demand growth for OPEC crude over the coming five years, the OECD’s Paris-based energy watchdog the International Energy Agency (IEA) said in its late

  • Ministers In Bullish Mood With Third Straight Roll-Over

    OPEC ministers, meeting in Vienna on 31 May, rolled over their 30mn b/d output ceiling on the third consecutive occasion. A general sense of confidence pervaded the meeting with prices for the OPEC basket looking to register a third straight year at over $100/B. “Let me tell

  • OPEC Voices Cautious Optimism Over 2H13 Demand

    OPEC is forecasting an upturn in global economic growth in the second half of the year, and has adjusted upwards – albeit slightly – earlier forecasts for the Call on its crude over this period. Lingering signs of fragility in the global economy however could yet upset the ba

  • Twilight Looms For OPEC’s Golden Age

    These have been glorious years for OPEC. The organization has posted double digit petroleum revenue percentage growth for eight of the last 10 years, registering a new record of $1.26 trillion in 2012, according to OPEC’s Annual Statistical Bulletin (ASB) 2013, published on 29

  • Saudi Moves To Replace Libya Shortfalls

    Saudi July crude production surged by over 350,000 b/d, according to MEES estimates. The Saudi jump to above 10mn b/d partly compensates for a precipitous 500,000 b/d fall in Libya output. Indications are that both Libyan supply weakness and strong Saudi production will continue,

  • Saudi Moves To Replace Libya Shortfalls

    Saudi July crude production surged by over 350,000 b/d, according to MEES estimates. The Saudi jump to above 10mn b/d partly compensates for a precipitous 500,000 b/d fall in Libya output. Indications are that both Libyan supply weakness and strong Saudi production will continue,

  • OPEC To Ride Out ‘Shale’ Storm And Reemerge Stronger                                             

    OPEC admits it is likely to be sidelined somewhat by resurgent non-OPEC supplies over the coming four-to-five year period, driven largely by the much-discussed North American shale and light tight oil boom. But any suggestion these extra barrels are here to stay has been brushed

  • Gathering Storm For OPEC As Iran Lays Down The Gauntlet

    Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh caused a stir in Vienna at the start of OPEC’s 164th meeting, declaring intent to reclaim Iran’s share of the oil market even if it means a collapse in oil prices. Mr Zanganeh’s opening gambit set the stage for turbulent times ahea

  • ‘Every Time We Go To Quotas, Who Bears The Brunt? Us’

    Speaking candidly to MEES on the sidelines of the OPEC meeting in Vienna a senior Saudi official says the country’s role as a swing producer is finished. He envisages an “eventual” end to Saudi energy subsidies and touts a new gas find. The kingdom does not believe that

  • Shale Oil And Gas: The Talk Of The Town

    The official attitude of key OPEC producers to mushrooming US shale oil and gas production is ‘bring it on,’ with Saudi Oil Minister Ali Naimi saying “any addition to supply in this big market is very welcome” (MEES, 6 December). But, whether a ‘threat’ or an ‘oppor

  • Chinese Import Slowdown Sets Alarm Bells Ringing For OPEC

    Chinese imports of crude oil grew at their slowest rate for almost 10 years in 2013, as demand was hit by a slowing economy. Beijing is struggling to maintain strong growth while it rebalances its economy, in an effort to move away from a largely investment-led growth model, to o

  • Iraqi Output Surge Pushes Opec Above 30mn B/D

    Iraq’s February oil production surged by 520,000 b/d, pushing overall output by the 12 OPEC members above 30mn b/d for the first time in four months and more than offsetting a slight decline from Saudi Arabia and the near 35% drop in Libyan output, the latest MEES survey of OPE

  • Saudi Arabia Sees No Need For OPEC Output Hike

    Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali Naimi, who normally keeps his cards close to his chest ahead of an OPEC meeting, has given the strongest indication yet of the OPEC lynchpin’s thinking leading up to the 11 June ministerial gathering of the producers’ club. The kingdom stands

  • Supply/Demand: ‘Eerie’ Calm As Uncertainties Mount

    Key oil producers in OPEC and beyond are wracked by war, instability, violent protests and economic sanctions. Events in Iraq, Russia and Libya – to mention just three – all have the ability to profoundly affect global oil supply/demand balances and massively move prices. Yet

  • Iraqi Oil Output Falls As Battle Against ISIS Intensifies

    Iraq’s southern oil production facilities and ports have been untouched by fighting further north, yet August oil production and exports fell. Continued infrastructure challenges have come into sharper focus even as new oil comes online.   In the north, fighting betw

  • Demand For OPEC Crude Revised Down Again

    Another month, another downward revision. Forecasted global demand for OPEC crude took yet another hit this week, as both the International Energy Agency (IEA) and OPEC adjusted downwards their respective estimates for the call on OPEC crude for both this year, and next. This

  • OPEC To Bring Down The Ceiling?

    OPEC might lower its production target when its members next meet in late November, in response to ever-weakening demand for its oil in the face of rising non-OPEC supplies, the group’s Secretary General ‘Abd Allah Salem al-Badri said in Vienna this week. With OPEC output

  • Saudi Arabia Defends Market Share With Asian Price Cut

    Saudi Arabia’s senior oil officials appear sanguine, at least publicly, in the face of sliding global oil prices, which have sunk to a near two-year low. Nor do they seem worried by the surge in US shale oil production despite signs that a glut of light sweet crude oil is shift

  • Prices Under More Pressure As OPEC Output Hits 16-Month High

    OPEC crude oil production rose for the sixth month running in September to stand at its highest level since mid-2013, as Libyan output continued to recover despite the ongoing unrest and security situation in the country’s east. These incremental Libyan barrels were supplemente

  • OPEC To Reclaim Market Share in 2020s, IEA Says

    Despite surrendering some of its market share to non-OPEC producers over the coming years due primarily to the strong growth in US tight oil output, the IEA sees OPEC producers reclaiming and eventually boosting their share as non-OPEC output begins to tail off post-2020. But

  • After The Hype, OPEC Meeting Ends With A Whimper

    Global oil prices dropped by 7% immediately after OPEC’s decision on 27 November to hold its production ceiling at 30mn b/d despite a more than 30% slump in the Brent price since mid-June. With forecasts for much lower demand for OPEC’s oil in the first quarter of 2015, the d

  • OPEC’S Choice: Low Prices Now, Or Low Prices & Low Output Later-Naimi

    Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali Naimi gave the clearest explanation yet for the kingdom’s latest decision to hold production steady in an interview published by the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA). His remarks left no doubt as to the kingdom’s intention to let market forces

MEES Interview With Saudi Oil Minister Ali Naimi

Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali Naimi sat down with MEES on 21 December in Abu Dhabi and gave his fullest explanation yet of Saudi thinking in pushing for an OPEC rollover on 27 November. The following is the full text of the interview.

Will Saudi Arabia Not Cut Production If The Russians Do Not Cut?

First of all, why did we decide not to reduce production? I will tell you why. Is it reasonable for a highly efficient producer to reduce output, while the producer of poor efficiency continues to produce? That is crooked logic. If I reduce, what happens to my market share? The price will go up and the Russians, the Brazilians, US shale oil producers will take my share.

So This Is A Policy To Defend Market Share?

It is also a defense of high efficiency producing countries, not only of market share. We want to tell the world that high efficiency producing counties are the ones that deserve market share. That is the operative principle in all capitalist countries.


  • US, Saudi
    In Energy Talks As Oil Prices Plunge

    The US this week sent a senior energy official to Riyadh for discussions with Saudi Oil Minister Ali Naimi amid conflicting forecasts of impact lower prices will have on US output. A brief report carried by official Saudi news agency SPA said the discussions held with Deputy U

  • OPEC Puts Russia On The Spot,

    Oil prices have yet to find a bottom but Saudi Arabia will not budge without a commitment from Russia that it is willing to cooperate with OPEC to balance supply and demand, MEES understands. A Gulf source says that without a Russian contribution, OPEC is unlikely to act alone.

  • IEA Slashes
    Non-OPEC Supply Growth projections

    In one of the most highly anticipated editions of its Medium Term Oil Market Report (MTOMR) in recent years, OECD energy watchdog the International Energy Agency (IEA) slashed its forecast for non-OPEC supply growth over the coming five years. Russia and the US see the two bigges

  • BP Predicts
    OPEC’s Second Coming

    OPEC may face a few lean years ahead, but BP in the latest edition of its Energy Outlook 2035, says that the producers’ group, with its low cost output base will ride out the threat from US shale and ultimately raise its market share. “I’m perplexed by the idea that OPEC

  • Saudi Arabia
    Takes Lesson From History

    OPEC’s November decision not to intervene in oil markets was historic, and time will show it was the correct path, Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali Naimi said this week. Dismissing talk that Saudi Arabia and OPEC had declared war on shale oil or that the shift in policy spelled t

  • Iran Blasts OPEC’s No-Quota Policy, Vows Return To Markets

    Iran’s Petroleum Minister Bijan Zanganeh this week slammed OPEC’s December 2011 decision to scrap individual production quotas in favor of an overall output ceiling, arguing that it has only encouraged some members to raise output, and ultimately eat into the market share of

  • Iran And World Powers Strike Initial Nuke Deal But Oil Markets Unfazed

    Front month Brent blend crude oil futures, seen as more responsive to the outcome of Iran’s nuclear talks with world powers than US counterpart WTI, dipped slightly on 3 April after Tehran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany reached a framewor

  • US Output Rise
    To Continue To 2020, Says EIA

    The US government’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) this week released its long term (to 2040) oil supply, demand and price forecasts in the 2015 edition of its Annual Energy Outlook (AEO). US crude oil production will peak at 10.6mn b/d in 2020, up from 8.7mn b/d fo

  • Zanganeh: six months for full Iran return to markets

    Iran will begin ramping up its crude output within 10 days of sanctions being lifted, and hit its pre-sanctions output of 3.8mn b/d within six months, oil minister Bijan Zanganeh said this week, vowing once again to reclaim the market share Iran lost as a result of the sanctions.

  • OPEC Vs Non-OPEC:
    It’s Just The Beginning…

    A 58% drop in the number of US drilling rigs, followed by a marked slowdown in US oil production growth and US oil drilling, followed by a marked slowdown in US oil production growth and $20/B-plus rally in oil prices since mid-January to above $65/B, has given rise to suggestion

  • Bijan Namdar Zanganeh:
    A Star Is Born At OPEC

    The traditional media scrum at the start of the 5 June Opec meeting saw the birth of a new celebrity: Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh. The impending nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers has put the spotlight on Iran this time around rather than Opec kingpin Saudi A

  • Glimmer Of Hope For Oil Markets As Russia-Saudi Ink St Petersburg Deal

    Saudi Arabia and Russia appear to have set aside their foreign policy differences and their oil rivalry by reaching agreement to cooperate in various sectors, including energy markets. While these may yet remain ink on paper, the symbolism of the visit to St Petersburg by the Sau

  • Iran Deal To Pressure Prices
    Through 2016

    Both Opec and the International Energy Agency (IEA) see little chance of a tightening world oil market in the remaining six months of this year, as sluggish world oil demand continues to lag behind surging supply from Opec and non-Opec countries alike. But while an expected stall

  • OPEC Holds Ground
    After Russia Talks

    Opec Secretary-General  ‘Abd Allah al-Badri said after talks in Moscow on 31 July that the Arab-dominated producers’ club did not plan to cut production and would maintain its long-standing leaky ceiling of 30mn b/d, despite falling oil prices and the potential of additional

  • US Output Falls 550,000 B/D From Peak, Gives Succor To Saudi Policy

    Latest US crude output data show that volumes have been falling further and faster than had previously been thought. The latest Short Term Energy Outlook (STEO) of the US government’s Energy Information Administration (EIA), released 9 September, pegged August crude output a

Iran Selects 49 Oil, Gas Projects
Open For Foreign Investment

Iran’s Oil Ministry has released a list of 49 upstream projects it has identified for priority investment by international and domestic companies alike, as part of its latest push to attract new cash, technology and expertise back to its oil and gas sector following almost 10 years in the dark. Hit by wave after wave of US, EU and UN sanctions, Iran has struggled to gain access to the foreign investment, equipment and technology it so badly required to continue developing its vast oil and gas resources – ranked fourth and second largest respectively – forcing numerous projects to be delayed, or in some cases even shelved indefinitely. But w

  • Iran Targets $200bn
    Post-Sanctions Upstream Investment

    With prospects for a nuclear detente between Iran and the international community, and thus a lifting of sanctions, better than they have been in over a decade, Iran’s Oil Ministry is drawing up big plans for an upstream opening it hopes will attract some of the industry’s bi

  • Op-Ed: Iran’s Oil And Gas Sector:
    The Post-Sanctions Opportunities

    Foreign oil firms are eying Iran’s post-sanctions upstream. While giant oil and gas fields have attracted the headlines, lower profile opportunities in EOR, part-completed projects, and gas development offer the best hope of near-term profits. By-Narsi Ghorban* Iran

  • Iran Kick-Starts
    Banking Sector Revolution

    Iran’s banking sector is in urgent need of reform. As the country prepares for the post-sanctions era following last week’s nuclear deal, President Hassan Rohani has asked the Central Bank (CBI) to draw up a reform bill to be reviewed by the cabinet over the coming days. I

  • Nuclear Accord To Herald New Chapter In Iran Relations With Total

    Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh says this month’s landmark nuclear deal will herald a new chapter in Iran’s relations with French energy giant Total, which for many years enjoyed a strong presence in Iran before US-led sanctions were imposed on investment in Irania

  • Japan’s Inpex
    Eyes Iran Return Post-Sanctions

    Japan’s largest exploration firm Inpex is eying up a return to Iran’s upstream some five years after pulling out of the country, the company’s Deputy Managing Director Yoshikazu Kurasawa said on 9 August while on a visit to Tehran. Inpex had been active in Iran for almos

  • Iran Going The Extra Mile
    With New Oil Contracts

    Desperate to attract technology and investment back to its stalled oil and gas sector, Iranian officials are pushing the limits with the terms they will offer IOCs in any post-sanctions opening. They face not only skepticism from the firms themselves but also a backlash fro